CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A last-minute technical problem Saturday delayed NASA’s unprecedented flight to the sun.
The early morning launch countdown was halted with just one-minute, 55 seconds remaining, keeping the Delta IV rocket on its pad with the Parker Solar Probe.
Rocket maker United Launch Alliance said it would try again Sunday, provided the helium-pressure issue can be resolved quickly. As soon as the red pressure alarm for the gaseous helium system went off, a launch controller ordered, “Hold, hold, hold.”
Once on its way, the Parker probe will venture closer to our star than any other spacecraft. The $1.5 billion mission is already a week late because of rocket issues. Saturday’s launch attempt encountered a series of snags; in the end, controllers ran out of time.