ULA Delta IV Heavy rocket launch delayed again

Shane McGlaun - Sep 27, 2020, 12:13pm CDT
ULA Delta IV Heavy rocket launch delayed again

We mentioned yesterday that United Launch Alliance had intended to try to relaunch its Delta IV Heavy today. The launch had been canceled earlier in the week due to a problem with the launch facility’s retraction system. The launch was supposed to happen today and has been canceled again due to a similar fault.

ULA says the launch is now being targeted for just after midnight on Tuesday, September 29. The delay of the United Launch Alliance rocket is also delaying the launch of two SpaceX rockets with both of those missions now listed as TBD until the Delta IV Heavy can launch.

A ULA spokesperson has said that additional time is needed to allow the team to test and evaluate the swingarm retraction system. The company pointed out that it believes in safety first and is dedicated to mission success. Launch time is targeted at no earlier than slightly after midnight on Monday, making it very early Tuesday morning.

This launch will put a new satellite into space for the National Reconnaissance Office. The launch has been problematic, having been scrubbed and delayed multiple times, starting in late August due to hardware issues. Most of the hardware issues haven’t been with the rocket itself, rather with faulty ground support equipment such as the swingarm system, pneumatics, and pressure regulators.

If the new schedule holds, Space Force predicts a 70 percent chance of “go” weather for conditions during its launch window. The main concerns for the launch are cumulus clouds that could be thick. The change in schedule means that the Falcon 9 mission to put more Starlink satellites into orbit is likely targeting around

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