MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
Contact: Diane Ainsworth
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 1999
NASA's QUICK SCATTEROMETER LAUNCH POSTPONED 24 HOURS
Launch of NASA's new QuikScat spacecraft, an ocean-observing
weather satellite, has been delayed at least 24 hours while
engineers troubleshoot a possible telecommunications problem on
the Titan II launch vehicle.
The spacecraft will be lofted into space from California's
Vandenberg Air Force Base no earlier than Saturday, June 19 at
7:15 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. A 10-minute launch window closes
at 7:25 p.m. PDT.
Engineers discovered noisy data from an inertial measurement
unit onboard the Titan II launch vehicle during one of the final
spacecraft system checkout tests on Tuesday, June 15. The
additional time will allow them an opportunity to investigate the
cause of the communications interference and replace electrical
circuitry or other hardware units if necessary.
QuikScat will be launched over the Pacific Ocean in a south-
southwesterly direction to achieve an orbit with an altitude of
about 800 kilometers (500 miles) above Earth's surface. Using its
scatterometer to bounce radar pulses off the ocean's surface, the
spacecraft will provide new data on wind speed and direction, and
significantly improve scientists' ability to forecast daily and
Additional information on the launch is expected to be
available late today. An audio status report on launch
preparations is available by phone at (805) 734-2693.