Power Failure Cancels Rocket Launch Test

The launch of the Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Antares rocket was delayed today, and probably won’t happen for another 48 hours.

The rocket was designed to ferry cargo to the International Space Station. This was the first test launch of the rocket, designed and built by the commercial space company. The rocket was supposed to launch Wednesday, April 17, from Wallops Island, Virginia.

Today’s launch was scrapped because of a detached “umbilical” cord that connected two of the rocket’s stages. The cord carries power from the launch pad to the rocket, and disconnects on launch.

In this case, the rocket suffered from “premature cord drop off.”

The launch was scrapped around 4:45 pm EDT, about 12 minutes before the rocket was planned to blast off.

Astronomy student Chris Calubaquib posted this image of the detached umbilical cord:

Antares rocket screenshotA screenshot from NASA TV of the failed Antares launch, with detached umbilical cord.

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