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Misbehaving Sun Delays Space Station Supply Flight

Wed, 01/08/2014 - 12:04pm
Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Blame the sun.

A Virginia company is delaying a space station delivery mission because of a major solar flare.

Orbital Sciences Corp.'s unmanned rocket, the Antares, was supposed to blast off Wednesday from Wallops Island, Va., with a capsule full of supplies and experiments. But the company postponed the launch for fear solar particles could doom the rocket.

Officials for Orbital Sciences say solar particles might interfere with electronic equipment in the rocket, and lead to a launch failure.

The solar flare peaked Tuesday afternoon. But more solar disturbance is expected. Officials will decide late Wednesday afternoon whether to attempt a Thursday launch or wait for the sun to settle down.

NASA says the solar activity poses no threat to the six men aboard the International Space Station.

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