VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, California – Wednesday’s scheduled launch of the Spanish earth-observation satellite PAZ atop a SpaceX rocket was postponed due to weather conditions.
“The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the PAZ satellite from Space Launch Complex-4, is delayed today due to upper level winds,” said a message posted on the Vandenberg Air Force Base Web site. “The launch is rescheduled for Thursday, Feb. 22, at 6:17 a.m. PST (1417 GMT).”
The PAZ satellite is a device carrying radar technology for both military and civilian use.
This is the fifth time the launch has been postponed.
First set for Jan. 30, the launch was put off to Feb. 10, only to be postponed again to Feb. 17, and then to Feb. 18. Hisdesat, the satellite owner-operator, said that last weekend’s delays were because of technical issues and the need to carry out additional tests on the SpaceX rocket.
Possible applications of the PAZ satellite include intelligence gathering; cartography; border monitoring; assessing natural disasters; zoning and planning; and environmental observation.
PAZ will produce up to 100 high-resolution images every day. Thanks to its radar technology, these images can be taken at any time, as there is no need for sunlight or ideal weather conditions.
The satellite weighs some 1,400 kg (3,086.5 lbs) and is five meters (16.4 ft) high and 2.4 meters wide.
PAZ is configured to orbit Earth 15 times a day at an altitude of 514 km (319.4 mi).