Thursday, February 09, 2006

Hold-Down Fire Scheduled for tomorrow

So unfortunately we will need to run the hold-down fire again (tomorrow Friday 1pm CA time). What that means is that we will lose our window for a real launch.

The way the Kwaj Military Base works is that they give us a set period when we can launch. Only one launch can happen at a time, and they have to set up warnings across the Atoll that a launch is going to happen.

So since we were not able to finish the test this morning, we need to push the schedule a day and that pushes us outside the launch window.

There were other things though that makes this okay.
1. We've figured out what caused the sequence to stop, but now we need to fix it. It has something to do with the timing of the ignitors, which is measured in milliseconds. I'd tell the problem in detail, but I'm not sure if you have time for me to go get a Phd in Engineering.
2. We want to lower the rocket and check the fuel tanks in the 2nd stage. The readings indicated the pressure was acting incorrectly. Until we lower and see for ourselves, we can't really know what the problem is.
3. The Freakin' LOX! Yes, the same painful problem we experienced in the first launch. Being in the middle of nowhere is really annoying. Doing a second hold-down fire means that we won't have enough LOX for a launch attempt. Even though we are out of the launch window, this is still infuriating.

So anyway, assuming they figure out the ignition issue, we should be on for a Hold-Down fire at 1pm Friday CA time.


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