American Space agency NASA was gearing up for the launch of its latest rocket on Sunday morning, while a stray plane flew into the restricted airspace at Wallops Island to delay the plan.
"We have confirmed that the aircraft that aborted today's launch attempt was a small aircraft flying at about 500ft approximately 6 miles offshore." NASA's Twitter account for the Orbital ATK stated.
The unexpected incident prompted NASA’s commercial shipper, Orbital ATK, to call off the liftoff though the Virginia-based company had reportedly attempted again to launch its unmanned Antares rocket with 7,400 pounds of cargo.
According to reports, the Cygnus capsule is carrying fresh fruit, vegetables and ice cream bars for the six station astronauts, plus mealworms and micro clover to ease the process of student experiment.
Though the launch was expected to be visible as far north as Boston and as far south as Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, sunrise has made it hard to enjoy the breath-taking sight.
This was Orbital ATK's first mission from its home base in more than a year. The last time it made a space station delivery, it used another company's rocket flying from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
We were working no issues until an aircraft flew into restricted airspace. We are currently de-tanking and will be ready to go tomorrow morning— Orbital ATK (@OrbitalATK) November 11, 2017
The space station crew, meanwhile, took advantage of the lull to beam down thanks to US veterans and wish everyone a happy Veterans' Day.
(With PTI inputs)