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Next Atlas 5 launch delayed with battery failure – Spaceflight Now



Atlas 5's payload cargo, which contains the Air Force's AEHF 5 communications satellite, was transferred to Cape Canaveral's complex 41 launch pad on June 15. Credit: United Launch Alliance

The next launch of United Launch Alliance's Atlas 5 rocket with US Air Force's fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite scheduled for Thursday has been delayed for not before July 9 to replace a failed battery on the vehicle.

In a statement on Sunday, ULA said the launch was delayed "due to a vehicle battery error discovered during the final processing."

ULA crews at Cape Canaveral were preparing for lifting at 10:00 am. 8:27 pm EDT (1227 GMT) Thursday with Lockheed Martin-built Atomic-coated, jam-resistant

AEHF 5 spacecraft designed to provide secure communication to the US military and president.

"Additional time is needed for the technical team to carry out the evaluation of ssue and replace the battery," ULA said in a statement.

A launch window for Atlas 5's earliest launch opportunity on July 9 has not been announced, but the window is expected to open at 07:45 EDT (1145 GMT).

Atlas 5 rocket is assembled inside the Vertical Integration Facility, or VIF, on the Cape Canaveral's Complex 41 launch pad. Since Atlas's first phase arrived at VIF last month, workers have installed the rocket's Centaur upper stage, five fixed rocket boosters and the Atlas 5's payload screen containing the AEHF 5 spacecraft.

The arrival of the AEHF 5 communications satellite for the Vertical Integration Facility on June 15 covered the collection of the Atlas 5 rocket. Credit: United Launch Alliance

The AEHF 5 satellite is launched after the launch of four former AEHF spacecraft in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2018, all at Atlas 5 rockets.

The Atlas 5s Centaur overthrow burns its RL10 engine three times to transmit the AEHF 5-spacecraft to an elliptical "high energy" geostationary transfer path, ranging from 8,970 miles (14,435 kilometers) to 21,933 miles (35,298 kilometers) in height a slope of 9.95 degrees.

The rocket will deploy the AEHF 5 spacecraft about 5 hours, 40 minutes after lifting. The satellite's own engine will lead the boat to a circular geostationary orbit more than 22,000 miles above the equator, where the AEHF 5 will join its predecessors in the secure communications network.

After the AEHF 5's launch, ULA plans to start stacking its next Atlas 5 rocket into VIF on Complex 41 for the first un piloted test flight of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner crew capsule scheduled for lift in September.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @ StephenClark1 .


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