A Delta 2 rocket carrying the satellite had been scheduled to lift off early Tuesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
NASA says the countdown stopped at 46 seconds because of the failure of a water flow system that suppresses acoustic energy and protects a launch pad flame duct.
The launch has tentatively been rescheduled for a 30-second window opening at 2:56 a.m. PDT Wednesday, pending resolution of the water flow problem.
The satellite, dubbed Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, is a replacement for a satellite destroyed during a failed launch in 2009.
The $468 million mission will collect global measurements of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere.
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