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August 09, 2005

NASA Announces Mars Orbiter Launch Delay

The launch of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been postponed 24 hours. The new launch window is Thursday, August 11 from 7:50 to 9:35 a.m. EDT.

The launch was postponed due to a failure of a Redundant Rate Gyro Unit (RRGU) at the manufacturer. This unit is similar to two RRGU's that are part of the flight control system on the Atlas V launch vehicle at Launch Complex 41 at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

The mission engineering team is evaluating whether the failure that occurred in the testing at the manufacturer has any effect on other RRGU's in the MRO's Atlas V.

For interested media, establishing remote cameras at Complex 41 will occur on Wednesday; leaving the KSC Press Site at 2 p.m. The imagery opportunity for the Atlas V rollout from the Vertical Integration Facility to the launch departs from the KSC Press Site at 10:15 p.m. EDT, tomorrow.

On launch day, Aug. 11, the KSC News Center will open at 4:30 a.m. EDT. Foreign national news media should meet at Gate 1 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 5 a.m. to be escorted to the KSC Press Site. NASA TV live coverage of the launch begins at 5:30 a.m.

For information about the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on the Web, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mro

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Dolores Beasley
Headquarters, Washington

George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

NEWS RELEASE: M05-132

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