Storm stalls radiation study launch

Last updated 10:39 27/08/2012

Nasa is launching probes to analyse Earth's radiation belt.

Nasa rocket
DELAYED: The Nasa rocket to carry radiation belt storm probes into space is next scheduled to launch Thursday.

Relevant offers

Nasa's effort to launch a pair of satellites to Earth's radiation belts is delayed until late this week because of tropical storm Isaac.

The countdown was halted at the four-minute mark on Saturday — for the second time in as many days.

Thunderstorms prevented the unmanned rocket from blasting off with Nasa's Radiation Belt Storm Probes.

On Friday, a tracking beacon on the rocket held up the flight.

Nasa initially said it would try again Sunday, but with Isaac bearing toward Florida, launch managers decided to move the Atlas V rocket back into its hangar and sit tight until the storm passed. They're now aiming for a Thursday launch.

The twin satellites are designed to study Earth's harsh radiation belts.

Scientists say the two-year, US$686 million mission will improve space forecasting; the goal is to better guard against solar storms.

Spacecraft can be damaged, and astronauts hurt, from severe solar outbursts. Life here on the planet also can be disrupted.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers
Opinion poll

What will be the main motivation for humanity's future space endeavours?

Quest for alien life

Making money

Human spirit of exploration

To escape an ailing Earth

China vs the rest space race

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

In Our Nature blog

In Our Nature, with Nicola Toki

The cost of losing nature