HOUSTON (KIAH) — Monday’s launch of a rocket carrying the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program 3 mission has been scrubbed for one day, but the mission is still on track for tomorrow.

The delay was due to needed repair of the ground storage system and additional time required to verify the sample integrity of the fuel prior to lift off.

The mission hosts two important elements. NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) and the NASA-U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Ultraviolet Spectro-Coronagraph (UVSC) Pathfinder.

The (LCRD) will showcase the unique capabilities of optical communications. Currently, most NASA missions use radio frequency communications to send data to and from spacecraft. Radio waves have been used in space communications since the beginning of space exploration and have a proven track record of success.

However, as space missions generate and collect more data, the need for enhanced communications capabilities becomes paramount. With misthis technology, missions in space will now send their data to LCRD, which will then relay the data down to designated ground stations on Earth.

Optical communications is one of these enhancements and will provide significant benefits for missions, including bandwidth increases of 10 to 100 times more than radio frequency systems. Additionally, optical communications provides decreased size, weight, and power requirements.

A smaller size means more room for science instruments. Less weight means a less expensive launch. Less power means less drain on the spacecraft’s batteries. With optical communications supplementing radio, missions will have unparalleled communications capabilities.

NASA LCRD
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Also heading to outer space on this mission is UVSC Pathfinder — short for Ultraviolet Spectro-Coronagraph Pathfinder — which will hitch a ride to space aboard the primary space craft is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Dec. 7. This joint NASA-U.S. Naval Research Laboratory experiment is dedicated to studying the origins of solar energetic particles — the sun’s most dangerous form of radiation.

The launch is now scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 3:04 a.m. central time. NASA TV live launch coverage will start approximately 35 minutes before launch on Dec. 7, at 2:30 a.m. CST. ​

To watch the lift off live Tuesday, go to the NASA link here.