Spaceflight Insider

ULA Atlas V launch of AEHF payload delayed, NET March 21, 2020

A "551" configured Atlas V rocket awaits its June 2016 launch, carrying the MUOS-5 payload.

A “551” configured Atlas V rocket awaiting its June 2016 launch date, carrying the MUOS-5 payload. Photo: Michael Howard, SpaceFlight Insider

The planned launch of the next United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket, set to loft the sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite built by Lockheed Martin, has been delayed to no earlier than (NET) March 21. 

According to Heather McFarland, Communications Specialist with ULA, the delay is due to an off nominal valve reading and additional time will now be needed to replace the valve and test the replacement.  The rocket is scheduled to fly with a five meter fairing, assisted by five solid rocket boosters and with a single Centaur upper stage engine – a configuration known as “551”.


Theresa Cross grew up on the Space Coast. It’s only natural that she would develop a passion for anything “Space” and its exploration. During these formative years, she also discovered that she possessed a talent and love for defining the unique quirks and intricacies that exist in mankind, nature, and machines. Hailing from a family of photographers—including her father and her son, Theresa herself started documenting her world through pictures at a very early age. As an adult, she now exhibits an innate photographic ability to combine what appeals to her heart and her love of technology to deliver a diversified approach to her work and artistic presentations. Theresa has a background in water chemistry, fluid dynamics, and industrial utility.

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