Home / Science / ULA delays Atlas 5 launched in August – Spaceflight Now

ULA delays Atlas 5 launched in August – Spaceflight Now

Stock Photo of an Atlas 5 launch last year with US Air Force fourth advanced EHF communications satellite. The next Atlas 5 flight, which is now scheduled for August 8, will accommodate the fifth AEHF Air Force Relay satellite. Credit: United Launch Alliance

United Launch Alliance is launching its next Atlas 5 launch from Cape Canaveral until August 8, enabling engineers to secure an unspecified anomaly on component testing at a supplier, having no impact on Atlas 5's mission to place an American Air Force communication satellite in orbit.

ULA announced the delay on Thursday and quoted "an anomaly in component testing at a supplier who has created an abuse problem."

Atlas 5 rocket was scheduled to take off from Cape Canaveral next Wednesday, July 17, with the Air Force Fifth Advanced EHF Communication Satellite.

"Additional time is required for the team to review component anomaly and determine if any corrective action is required to launch vehicles," ULA said in a brief statement.

United Launch Alliance did not identify which vendor or component was responsible for the delay, following a previous s delay from Atlas 5's original target launch date on June 27 to replace a failed battery on the rocket.

ULA also did not announce a time for a potential launch attempt on August 8, but a countdown on that date is expected to have a two-hour opening at about 5:50 EDT (0950 GMT).

The AEHF 5 communications satellite was encapsulated within the Atlas 5 rocket payload in early June at the Astrotech payload facility in Florida. Credit: Lockheed Martin

The Atlas 5 rocket is fully mounted in the Vertical Integration Facility, or VIF, on Cape Canaveral's complex 41 launch pad. After Atlas 5's first stage arrived in VIF in May, the workers installed the rocket's Centaur upper stage, five solid rocket boosters and Atlas 5's payload depth, which included Lockheed Martin-built AEHF 5 spacecraft.

The launch of the AEHF 5 satellite comes after the launch of four previous AEHF spacecraft 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2018, all on Atlas 5 rockets.

US military, president and other government leaders rely on the AEHF network for secure video, voice and data communications. The AEHF satellites are hardened to function in nuclear war and are resistant to interference, providing reliable global links between strategic forces and captains around the clock.

Military forces from Canada, the Netherlands and the UK also have access to

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