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Virtual Launch Control Center - New Horizons
Archived coverage of the scrubbed launch attempt of New Horizons on January 17, 2006.

All times are in EST unless otherwise stated.

The Virtual Launch Control Center was activated at 11:00 a.m.

The Virtual Launch Control Center was deactivated at 3:27 p.m.

3:22 p.m. - The launch vehicle is being safed at this time for a launch attempt tomorrow afternoon. The clock will be reset to T-4 minutes and holding at this time. Tomorrow's window will open at 1:16 p.m. and extend to 3:15 p.m.

3:20 p.m. - The NASA launch manager has aborted the launch due to high winds at the pad. We are no-go at T-2 minute 34 seconds. We will recycle for a 24-hour turnaround.

3:19 p.m. - We are at T-4 minutes and counting. We will continue to monitor our wind speed limits.

3:14 p.m. - With 4 minutes and 40 seconds in the hold, the NASA launch manager has decided pick up the count. If the winds exceed our limits during that time, we will not launch. The wind limits at the pad are 33 knots and we have exceeded that several times today.

3:07 p.m. - We are just under the ground wind speed limits for launch. If we exceed those limits within the last 8 minutes of the countdown we will not be able to launch today.

Did You Know?
The New Horizons spacecraft will take at least 9 and a half years to reach Pluto and its moon, Charon. That means that a student who is now in first grade would be just finishing up with 10th grade!

2:57 p.m. - A new launch time has been targeted for 3:23 p.m. to study the ground winds for a safe launch today. There are 20 minutes remaining in this built-in hold.

2:52 p.m. - We are continuing to monitor the ground winds at this time. Atlas and Centaur are fueled and fully loaded. There continue to be no other technical issues and all ground assets are nominal.

2:43 p.m. - Because of continued windy conditions, a new launch time has been issued for 3:05 p.m. There are now 17 minutes remaining in the hold.

2:40 p.m. - Data from weather balloon 8 is being uploaded into the Atlas rocket.

Did You Know?
Pluto is a new type of planet. It is an ice dwarf which is common to the deep outer solar system.

2:30 p.m. - All ground assets are now ready to support the launch today. We are still working with the winds issue. Launch is currently scheduled for 2:50 p.m. and we remain in the T-4 minute hold.

2:27 p.m. - At this time the range is green. The Antigua tracking station is back online and available for launch.

2:23 p.m. - A new launch time has been established for 2:50 p.m. due to a computer problem with the Deep Space Network. The issue has been resolved.

2:15 p.m. - The latest weather data is being uploaded into the Atlas rocket. We are continuing to monitor the winds, working toward a launch of 2:30 p.m. this afternoon.

2:10 p.m. - Wind issues for the countdown are continuing to be assessed. At this time, we're still at T-4 and holding.

2:07 p.m. - A mandatory tracking station, located in Antigua in the eastern Carribbean, has gone off-line. This station must be operational for launch. There's an expectation that it will be available at 2:20 p.m.

Did You Know?
Pluto only orbits the Sun once every 248 Earth years, and is about 40 times farther out than Earth.

1:59 p.m. - Weather balloons 10 and 11 have been released to check the current wind speeds.

1:57 p.m. - Launch time has now been adjusted to 2:30 p.m. because of wind speed issues.

1:53 p.m. - We are awaiting data from the latest balloon release to determine the current upper-level and ground winds speeds. Ground wind speeds have been gusting at 33 knots. There are 12 minutes left in the built-in hold.

1:37 p.m. - The NASA Launch Manager and his team have adjusted the new launch time to 2:10 p.m. The launch window for today extends to 3:23 p.m.

1:35 p.m. - The NASA Launch Manager is a conducting poll on whether to release the hold. The NASA team is a "go" pending the results of incoming weather data.

1:34 p.m. - Based on the results of the weather balloons, a decision will be made to either extend or come out of the hold. There continue to be no technical issues at this time.

1:23 p.m. - The fill and drain value on the Atlas liquid oxygen tank is operating properly and should not be an issue for launch today. Weather is currently red due to upper level winds and ground winds continue to gust.

Did You Know?
The United States has been the first nation to reach every planet from Mercury to Neptune with a space probe.

1:14 p.m. - A new launch time is being set for 1:45 p.m. this afternoon due to issues with excessive southerly upper-level winds.

1:10 p.m. - At T-4 minutes and holding, we are now in the 10-minute, built-in hold.

1:06 p.m. - During the Atlas V weather briefing, the launch weather officer gave his report about the conditions for launch. He reported winds out the south may surpass launch constraints.

1:02 p.m. - We are now at 11 minutes and counting. At T-4 minutes we will go into a 10-minute, pre-programmed built-in hold.

Did You Know?
It took the Apollo missions more than 3 days to reach the Moon, but the New Horizons spacecraft aboard the Atlas V will only take 9 hours. This will be the fastest spacecraft ever launched.

12:44 p.m. - We are now at T-30 minutes and counting. At this time there are no technical issues at work.

12:40 p.m. - Centaur LO2 tank is now loaded at 100 percent flight level.

12:34 p.m. - At T-40 minutes, topping off of the Centaur hydrogen tank is occurring. Atlas LO2 is 97.5 percent full and is also in the process of being topped off.

12:29 p.m. - We are now at T-45 minutes and counting. Centaur hydrogen loading is at 90 percent.

Did You Know?
The Florida Quarter is taking a ride to Pluto aboard the New Horizons spacecraft. Learn more about the Florida Quarter.

12:25 p.m. - Atlas LO2 is at 80 percent and Centaur hydrogen is now at 50 percent.

12:22 p.m. - Tanking of the Centaur liquid hydrogen is at 40 percent full at this time.

12:19 p.m. - At T-55 minutes and counting, the final flight control preparations are beginning. Centaur's hydrogen loading is now at 20 percent full.

12:18 p.m. - The Centaur liquid hydrogen (LH2) loading has begun and is now at 10 percent capacity.

12:11 p.m. - The Atlas liquid oxygen loading is going nominally and is at 50 percent.

12:03 p.m. - The Centaur L02 loading is now at 100 percent flight level.

12:01 p.m. - As the Atlas is being filled with the supercold LO2, the bronze colored outer shell is turning white as it frosts over.

11:57 a.m. - At T-1 hour, 17 minutes and counting the countdown is progressing normally and no issues are evident at this time.

11:56 a.m. - Loading of the Atlas LO2 is now is at 10 percent.

11:55 a.m. - The Centaur liquid oxygen loading is at 95 percent and topping off will continue through the final moments before launch.

Did You Know?
The first successful launch of an Atlas/Centaur was Nov. 27, 1963.

11:48 a.m. - 75 percent of the Centaur LO2 loading has been completed.

11:43 a.m. - The Atlas V LO2 tanking operations have begun. The Centaur upper stage is now at 50 percent full.

11:39 a.m. - The Centaur's liquid oxygen level is now at 30 percent.

11:35 a.m. - The Centaur upper stage tanking is now 10 percent completed.

11:34 a.m. - We are now at T- 1 hour, 40 minutes.

11:30 a.m. - The loading of liquid oxygen (LO2) into the Centaur upper stage has begun.

Did You Know?
All 5 of the Atlas solid rocket boosters will ignite at liftoff.

11:19 a.m. - We are now at T-1 hours, 55 minutes and counting.

11:15 a.m. - Cooling or "chilldown" of the mobile launch platform has begun. This will acclimate the rocket for the beginning of the supercold propellants entering the rocket once the tanking begins.

11:14 a.m. - We are at T-2 hours and counting for liftoff of New Horizons.

11:07 a.m. - A preliminary weather briefing has indicated winds are at 25 knots right now, with 33 knots being a constraint for launch.

11:06 a.m. - NASA Launch Manager Omar Baez
has completed the cryogenic tanking poll. The entire NASA team is ready for the tanking to begin.

11:00 a.m. - We are now at T-3 hours 24 minutes into the countdown.

The following was in progress before live countdown coverage began:

10:52 a.m. - The blast danger area has been cleared of all personnel.

10:44 a.m. - We are at T-2 hours and holding for a programmed 30-minute built-in hold.

10:41 a.m. - Area warning lights for Complex 41 are now flashing red and the area warning horns have been sounded.

10:36 a.m. - An announcement to clear the launch complex has been given in readiness for cryogenic tanking.

10:34 a.m. - We are now at T-2 hours 10 minutes and counting.

10:23 a.m. - Flight control countdown preparations have been completed at T-3 hours 1 minute.

10:14 a.m. - We are at T-2 hours and 30 minutes. Flight control countdown preparations have begun.

10:02 a.m. - Final preparations for the Atlas's propulsion and hydraulics systems are now complete.

9:50 a.m. - Roadblocks are being set up around the blast danger area at the launch pad. The countdown is proceeding on schedule.

9:43 a.m. - At T-3 hours and counting, a public address announcement has been made for all non-essential personnel to clear Launch Complex 41 for cryogenic tanking.

9:34 a.m. - The rocket's internal battery checks have been completed.

Two programmed built-in holds are scheduled for today's countdown. The expected liftoff time is 1:24 p.m., which is at the start of a two-hour window.

Virtual Launch Control Center Team
Page Content
Lynda Warnock (InDyne, Inc.)
Live Updates/Layout
Elaine Marconi (InDyne, Inc.)
Video Uploads/Captions
Anna Heiney and Cheryl Mansfield
(InDyne, Inc.)
Quality Control/Publishing
Charlie Plain (InDyne, Inc.)
Video Production
Alysia Lee (InDyne, Inc.)
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Chris Chamberland and
Michael Chambers (InDyne, Inc.)
Video QC/Oversight
Dennis Armstrong (NASA)