On This Day In Space: Delta rocket fails to launch GOES-G satellite

On May 3, 1986, NASA attempted to launch a new weather satellite called GOES-G for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, but the rocket malfunctioned mid-air.

About a minute after it took off from Cape Canaveral, lightning hit the Delta rocket and created a short circuit. This caused the rocket’s main engine to stop working prematurely. It started somersaults in the sky with some of its strapped boosters still firing.

A Delta rocket carrying the GOES-G weather satellite explodes after failing to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on May 3, 1986. (Image credit: NOAA)

NASA sent the rocket a self-destruct command, and it exploded over the Atlantic Ocean. They did this to minimize the risk of the entire rocket falling back to Earth. The launch failure was particularly frustrating for NASA, as it was the first since the space shuttle Challenger disaster three months earlier.

https://www.space.com/39251-on-this-day-in-space.html On This Day In Space: Delta rocket fails to launch GOES-G satellite

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