Wind gusts and sluggish fuel valves conspired to keep NASA’s new Orion spacecraft on the launch pad Thursday, delaying a crucial test flight to revitalize human exploration.
NASA aimed for another shot Friday morning as tens of thousands of disappointed guests hustled out. Forecasters expected higher winds, clouds and rain, but managers were optimistic the wind direction would shift in their favor.
Orion is how NASA hopes to send astronauts on to Mars in the decades ahead. This inaugural flight, while just 4 1/2 hours, will send the unmanned capsule 3,600 miles into space. It’s the first attempt to send a spacecraft capable of carrying humans beyond a couple hundred miles of Earth since the Apollo moon program.