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Delta II NASA WISE launch rescheduled for Dec. 14

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The launch of a Delta II rocket with NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer has been rescheduled to launch between 6-6:30 a.m. PST Dec. 14 from Space Launch Complex-2 here.

During final systems checks of the Delta II rocket Wednesday in preparation for flight, an anomaly in the motion of a booster steering engine was detected. Mission managers have implemented a plan to completely resolve the anomaly. This plan includes removing and replacing a suspect component today allowing the Delta II to be ready for Monday's launch attempt. The current weather forecast calls for an 80 percent chance of acceptable weather during the launch window.

Col. David Buck, the 30th Space Wing commander, is the western range launch decision authority for this mission.

Once in orbit the WISE satellite will scan the entire sky with infrared light with a sensitivity hundreds of times greater than ever before, picking up the glow of hundreds of millions of objects and producing millions of images. The voluminous quantity of images the WISE satellite can generate will help scientists answer fundamental questions about the origins of planets, stars and galaxies, and provide data for astronomers.

The Delta II is an expendable launch, medium-lift vehicle used to launch military, civil and commercial payloads into low-earth, polar, geosynchronous transfer and stationary orbits.

For more information about the Delta II, call Mike Rein of the United Launch Alliance at 321-693-6250

For more information about the WISE satellite, call Whitney Clavin from NASA at 805-605-3051 or 818-648-9734.