Storms spoil NASA's 2nd launch bid for satellites

Associated Press
This framegrab image provided by NASA-TV shows the Atlas V first stage and Centaur upper stage sitting on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida just prior to launch being scrubbed for the day early Saturday Aug. 25, 2012. The planned launch is scheduled for 4:07 a.m. EDT Sunday of NASA’s Radiation Belt Storm Probes. The Atlas V burns refined kerosene fuel, known as RP-1, mixed with liquid oxygen. The Centaur uses liquid hydrogen for fuel, mixed with liquid oxygen. The Centaur will ignite after the Atlas V first stage burns its propellants and falls away. (AP Photo/NASA)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Thunderstorms have ruined NASA's second attempt to launch a pair of science satellites.

For the second day in a row, NASA had to halt the countdown for its Radiation Belt Storm Probes.

Lightning and thick storm clouds prevented the unmanned rocket from taking off early Saturday from Cape Canaveral. On Friday, a tracking beacon on the rocket held up the flight.

NASA says it will try again Sunday.

The twin satellites are designed to study Earth's harsh radiation belts. Scientists say the two-year mission will improve space forecasting. The goal is to better guard against solar storms. Spacecraft can be damaged, and astronauts hurt, from severe solar outbursts. Life here on the planet also can be disrupted.