Science

NASA delays Phoenix launch until Saturday

The launch of a Mars-bound spacecraft armed with a Canadian component designed to study the planet's climate has been postponed a day because of poor weather conditions here on Earth, NASA said Tuesday.

The launch of a Mars-bound spacecraft armed with a Canadian component designed to study the planet's climate has been postponed a day because of poor weather conditions on Earth, NASA said Tuesday.

Severe weather in the vicinity of the launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida interrupted attempts to complete fuelling of the Delta II rocket that was scheduled to send the Phoenix Mars Lander into space on Friday.

The launch time has been moved to Saturday, with two launch times available in the early morning.

The Phoenix mission, headed by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will investigate whether the Martian arctic can support life, look into the history of water at the landing site and, using a meteorological station designed by the Canadian Space Agency, investigate how the Martian climate is affected by the polar conditions.

The lander is scheduled to arrive on Mars about 10 months after launching from Earth.

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