Planned for 11:37 UTC today to launch of Antares rocket with OA-8 Cygnus robotic cargo spacecraft was postponed for Sunday, November 12 due the plane violating the restricted area.
First in 2017 mission of Antares rocket seemed to reaching successful final, but in the last minute before igniting its two powerful RD-181 engines, mission control center decided to abort mission and scrub launch. Antares-230 with Cygnus robotic spacecraft “Gene Cernan” under the fairing remained silent on Pad-0A at Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia.
As ground service teams begun to proceed accordingly and begun securing payload, attached power lines to rocket and prepared for draining the tanks, Mission Control Center announced that plane approached and violated restricted zone around Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. According to safety rules it was necessary to abort flight and postpone mission for 24 hours.
Officially enhanced Cygnus OA-8 with 3.3 t of payload will be launched tomorrow from same pad at 12:14 UTC. Docking is planned for Tuesday, November 14. ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli will grab Cygnus at 09:45 UTC.