Anomaly pushes Atlas launch back again
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, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.