Cap Canaveral: A Delta II rocket carrying missile-tracking satellites was all fueled up, but now has nowhere to go. Weather has forced a scrub of Wednesday’s launch attempt, so they will try again tomorrow between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.
The first stage fuel tank of the Delta 2 rocket was fully loaded with a highly refined kerosene, called RP-1, during a 19-minute, 25-second process that concluded at 6:05 a.m. Super-cold liquid oxygen was also loaded at the last minute. The kerosene and liquid oxygen will be consumed by the stage’s Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-27A main engine and twin vernier steering thrusters during the initial four-and-a-half minutes of flight.
Once in orbit, the rocket will deploy the satellites for the Space Tracking and Surveillance System, a $1.5 billion project known as STSS Demo.
The satellites will be used by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency to test the “birth to death” tracking of missiles from launch to re-entry.