January 8, 2014 - 18:11 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - NASA and Orbital Sciences abandoned their Wednesday, Jan 8, rocket launch plans after a solar flare generated an unusually high level of space radiation, Mashable reports.
The solar activity, which started on Tuesday, created a harsh environment that the team fears would harm the Antares rocket's electronic systems. Orbital says it will continue to monitor space weather. The mission has been tentatively rescheduled for Thursday at 1:10 pm ET.
Set to launch from NASA's Wallops facility in Virginia, Orbital's Antares rocket will carry its Cygnus spacecraft into orbit, where it will rendezvous with the International Space Station. If the launch goes as planned on Jan 9, Cygnus will arrive at the ISS on Sunday morning, packed with 3,230 pounds of cargo.
This is the first of eight missions under a contract between NASA and Orbital, a commercial entity. Orbital is slated to deliver up to 44,000 of supplies to the space station.