Watch NASA's third attempt at launching CYGNSS to space

NASA reschedules the launch of eight hurricane-watching microsatellites after another failed attempt.

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Mariella Moon
December 15th, 2016
In this article: CYGNSS, launch, NASA, orbitalatk, science, space

NASA had to scrub its second attempt to launch eight weather microsatellites to space yet again. Its new target launch date? Today, December 15th, at 8:26AM Eastern time. The agency's Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) mission was supposed to leave our planet on December 12th and then again on December 14th. Unfortunately, the first one had to be delayed due to a problem with the hydraulic pump the controls the release of Orbital ATK's Pegasus rocket from its modified aircraft carrier. See, unlike typical rockets that lift off from the ground, Pegasus was designed to be dropped from an airplane. The second attempt, on the other hand, had to be scrapped due to an issue with the flight data used by the spacecraft's software.

Once they finally make it to orbit, the CYGNSS microsatellites will fly in formation 316 miles above the planet's surface. They'll measure wind speeds over the oceans to gather data so that scientists can learn how to predict hurricanes a lot better. You can keep an eye on today's attempt through NASA TV, starting at 7AM. NASA says there's an 80 percent chance of favorable weather -- if everything else goes well, you'll get to see a different kind of rocket launch.

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