Keeping you current

Reminder: Keep Your Boat AWAY From NASA’s Rocket Launches

A mission to the ISS was cancelled because of a wayward boat

An earlier launch of one of Orbital Science's Antares rockets from Wollops, April 21, 2013. (NASA/Reuters/Corbis)
smithsonian.com

One little boat drew the ire of the space-loving community yesterday when its incursion on the sea around Virginia's Wallops Flight Facility forced NASA to scrub the launch of a rocket that was set to carry supplies to the International Space Station. If you're annoyed, just think how miffed the astronauts are that their new stuff is going to be late.

Yesterday afternoon the rocket was all set to go and Orbital Sciences, the private company in charge of the flight, was counting down when they ran in to a problem:

The boat was down range of the rocket's planned path, says NASA, meaning that if anything had gone wrong it would have been in the danger zone. To prevent that risk, they had to cancel the launch.

Fortunately, people were able to have some fun with it. It didn't take long for an “Unauthorized Boat” Twitter account to pop up.

Even Frank Culbertson, executive vice president of Orbital Sciences, wasn't too miffed. “That's just spaceflight," he told Space.com

Chances to shoot for the ISS come up pretty regularly, and NASA says they've rescheduled the launch for 6:22 Eastern tonight. If you have a boat and live near Virginia, do everyone a favor and keep it docked.  

About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

Read more from this author |
Tags

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus