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ULA Delta IV heavy rocket launch delayed again



We mentioned yesterday that the United Launch Alliance had intended to try to restart their Delta IV Heavy today. The launch was canceled earlier this week due to a problem with the launch system’s retraction system. The start was supposed to take place today and was canceled again due to a similar error.

According to the ULA, the launch should take place on Tuesday, September 29, shortly after midnight. The delay on the United Launch Alliance rocket is also delaying the launch of two SpaceX rockets, with both missions now listed as TBD, until the Delta IV Heavy can launch.

A ULA spokesperson said additional time will be needed for the team to test and evaluate the swing arm retraction system. The company indicated that it believes in safety first and is committed to mission success. The start time is set shortly after midnight on Monday at the earliest, so that it is very early on Tuesday morning.

This launch will bring a new satellite into space for the National Reconnaissance Bureau. The start was problematic as it was cleaned and delayed several times from the end of August due to hardware issues. Most of the hardware problems did not affect the missile itself, but rather faulty ground equipment like the swing system, pneumatics, and pressure regulators.

With the new schedule in place, Space Force predicts a 70 percent chance that the weather will be fine for the conditions during the launch window. The main concern for launch is cumulus clouds which could be thick. The change in the schedule means the Falcon 9 mission to put more Starlink satellites into orbit is likely to be well targeted


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