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Delta II launch delayed

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The launch of a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 is rescheduled due to a problem with the launch pad.

The next launch is scheduled for Thursday at 2:22 a.m., weather permitting.

The rocket will carry a NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The NOAA-N Prime satellite will improve weather forecasting and monitor environmental events around the world, according to the NASA Web site. NOAA-N Prime is the fifth and last in the current series of five polar-orbiting satellites with improved imaging and sounding capabilities.

The satellite will collect meteorological data and transmit the information to NOAA's Satellite and Information Service, which processes the data for input to the National Weather Service for its long-range weather and climate forecasts, according to NASA. Forecasters worldwide also will be able to access the satellite's images and data.

NOAA-N Prime has sensors that will be used in the Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking System to monitor for distress signals around the world.