Despite the deployment of the Atlas V missile on Monday afternoon, the United Launch Alliance delayed the launch of their planned Election Day from Cape Canaveral Air Station.
The teams at Launch Complex 41 were slightly delayed in rolling the 206-foot rocket onto its pedestal, but it successfully made the 1,800-foot ride from the vertically integrated base at 1:30 pm Monday. ULA had targeted it on Tuesday night, but now has plans to launch at 5:54 p.m. Wednesday.
“When we got to the launch pad, we experienced a reduction in the flow rate of the above-loaded environmental control system,” ULA said in a statement. “The team is in the process of bringing the Atlas V back to the vertical integration facility to complete the troubleshooting. The vehicle and payload are working fine.”
Company CEO Tory Bruno said on Twitter that the strong winds in the mattress could have caused damage to the hardware of that environmental control system.
“The spacecraft is fine, but it needs to be checked,” said Bruno.
Housed in the missile compartment is NROL-101, a secret intelligence collection satellite owned and operated by the National Reconnaissance Office. Despite the NRO’s secrecy nature, expensive satellites – usually north of $ 1 billion – are known for their powerful image delivery and data collection capabilities.
Also on the range’s schedule this week is the SpaceX Falcon 9 tasked with launching a previously scanned Global Positioning System satellite for the Space Force. Teams at Launch Complex 40 are targeting between 6:20 p.m. and 6:40 p.m. Thursday for takeoff.
See floridatoday.com/launchschedule for our most up-to-date information.
Contact Emre Kelly at email@example.com or 321-242-3715. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @EmreKelly. Support press space by registering at floridatoday.com/specialoffer/.
Mission profile: NROL-101, a National Reconnaissance Office intelligence satellite, will launch from Cape Canaveral on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
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