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Daryl Sausse


Ariane 5 after its launch was scrubbed. Pic via Arianespace YouTube.

Update August 4: Arianespace has announced that they have set a NET date of August 14th to try again for launch.

Update August 2: The Ariane 5 launch vehicle is being returned to the assembly building to replace the troublesome sensor. A new launch date is expected to be announced on August 3rd, according to Arianespace.

Arianespace scrubbed its launch of the Ariane 5 today. The countdown was proceeding smoothly until just over two minutes when the “board” (a screen showing the different launch systems and weather and their status for launch) showed red for one of the launch systems. Teams paused the countdown and tried to resolve the trouble before the 40+ minute launch window closed but were unable to resolve the issue.

A statement later said that a sensor in the first stage liquid hydrogen tank was to blame. In that same statement, Arianespace said that the next launch opportunity would be at 5:30 EDT on Saturday, August 1st, however, at the time of writing, they have not said whether or not the issue had been resolved and they would be able to launch at the next window. This article will be updated as needed.

August 2

Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
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SpaceX’s Dragon capsule Endeavour successfully splashed down today off the coast of Pensacola, FL after a 64-day mission to the International Space Station. The return process began last night with the undocking at 7:35 pm EDT and subsequent departure burns. The crew — Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley — was then free to get a full night’s rest.

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July 30

Perseverance atop an Atlas V at liftoff. July 30, 2020. Photo by Daryl Sausse` for SpaceExplored.com
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With great fanfare, NASA’s next Mars rover Perseverance began its journey to Mars this morning atop an Atlas V rocket from United Launch Alliance. The weather was clear as had been predicted for the last few days. In fact, conditions improved to 90% favorable shortly before launch.

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July 28

Pegasus passes through Baton Rouge, LA on July 22, 2020. Photo by Daryl Sausse
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NASA’s Pegasus barge is currently in the final stretch of its trip from Huntsville, Alabama, to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. On this particular trip, it’s carrying the Launch Vehicle Stage Adapter (LVSA) to be used on the maiden flight of the SLS launch vehicle. In a time when more attention than normal is given to waterborne vessels related to spaceflight, Pegasus shows that NASA has been doing it for a long time.

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