Huge Solar Flare Causes Postponement Of Orbital Sciences Rocket Launch

Wednesday, 08 January 2014 - 11:04AM
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Wednesday, 08 January 2014 - 11:04AM
Huge Solar Flare Causes Postponement Of Orbital Sciences Rocket Launch

A strong solar flare has caused the cancellation of a proposed Orbital Sciences Antares Rocket launch that would have seen the Cygnus supply craft sent on its way to the International Space Station. While the levels of radiation being detected wouldn't have affected the Cygnus spacecraft, the Orbital Sciences team did not want to take a risk with the radiation impact on the Antares rocket that would have been carrying it. The Antares team opted to postpone the launch and investigate possible scenarios involving the increased levels of radiation.

 

The first large solar event of the year has been classed as X1.2 solar flare and it was captured in all its terrifying glory by the Solar Dynamics Observatory in the video above. The flare kicked out what has been described as an "unusually high level of radiation" which is currently hurtling towards Earth.

 

The Orbital Sciences team must now focus on the rescheduling of the Antares Rocket launch with Thursday 9th January looking like the preferred date.

 

For more information on this story, visit NASA.gov

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