Spaceflight Insider

Anomaly pushes Atlas launch back again

An Atlas V 551 rocket at Cape Canaveral's Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida. The rocket launched the AEHF-4 satellite into orbit on Oct. 17, 2018.. Photo Credit: Scott Schilke / SpaceFlight Insider

An Atlas V 551 rocket at Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida with the AEHF-4 satellite. This particular satellite was sent to orbit on Oct. 17, 2018.. Photo Credit: Scott Schilke / SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — The launch of a ULA Atlas V rocket with the fifth AEHF satellite will have to wait a little longer before its flight.

The AEHF-5 spacecraft had been scheduled to launch on June 27, but a battery failure issue caused the flight to be delayed to July 17. It now appears the mission’s lift off will be pushed back even further – to August 8 (at the earliest). Since the target date is no-earlier-than Aug. 8, there isn’t an exact time as to when the launch window will open.

Built by Lockheed Martin, the AEHF-5 spacecraft is designed to provide highly-secure communications to the Department of Defense. 

Colorado-based United Launch Alliance (ULA) issued the following statement about this latest delay:

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the AEHF-5 mission for the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center is delayed, due to an anomaly during component testing at a supplier which has created a cross-over concern. Additional time is needed for the team to review the component anomaly and determine if any corrective action is required to the launch vehicle. Launch of the AEHF-5 mission is now targeted for no earlier than Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019.

SpaceFlight Insider reached out to United Launch Alliance to find out more about the cause of this latest delay and were provided with the following response: During final acceptance testing of the component, the support equipment measured off-nominal voltage. The team is reviewing the data and inspecting the hardware to determine root cause.





Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology,, The Mars Society and Universe Today.

Reader Comments

An anomaly is an in flight failure. Could you be any more click baity?

Turns out that was the official statement so disregard my initial post.

Alan Gilbreath

You should read before commenting. Could you be any more jack assy? I doubt it.

I thought we were paying millions more because they are so reliable???

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