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.
Most hated boat in America right now doesn't even know it just delayed an ISS mission! They never made contact with the boat. #NASASocial— Scott (@GreatScottLP) October 28, 2014
Fortunately, people were able to have some fun with it. It didn't take long for an “Unauthorized Boat” Twitter account to pop up.
Did I miss the launch? I'm looking straight up in the air?? #Antares— Unauthorized Boat (@WaywardBoat) October 27, 2014
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.