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Stonewalling at Orbital Sciences

By Keith Cowing
November 9, 2004

9 November 2004: A DART Near Miss: Infighting at Orbital – and Deceiving NASA, SpaceRef

“On Monday NASA issued a curiously short press release stating “The launch of NASA’s DART spacecraft aboard an Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL scheduled for Tuesday is postponed. A review of projected loads data, or the G-forces the payload experiences upon ignition of the Pegasus second stage, is being re-evaluated to ensure mission success.” NASA Watch has learned that Orbital Sciences knew about these problems for months and yet they kept that information from NASA.”

9 November 2004: Did NASA space robot dodge disaster?, MSNBC

“[Orbital spokesman Barry] Benesky couldn’t recall any past case where a launch was called off so close to the launch date on the basis of review of old data. “It is unusually late” this time, he conceded. But he insisted that in the end, launch managers did the right thing: “We told the customer, and together we decided to take some time to review it.”

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.