Technical trouble delays California rocket launch

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — Officials say the launch of an earth-observation satellite from California’s Central Coast has been postponed for the third time.

Vandenberg Air Force Base spokesman Jeremy Eggers says the Delta II rocket scheduled for takeoff from the base Monday night will be attempted again Tuesday night.

A statement from the United Launch Alliance says the latest delay came when mission managers found an insufficient flow of gaseous nitrogen to help keep critical components in the rocket’s engine compartment warm.

Similar problems forced scrubbed launches both Friday and Sunday.

The payload is the last part of a four-satellite system called COSMO-SkyMed that uses radar to create images for defense and scientific purposes, mainly in the Mediterranean region.

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