The anomaly in an upper-level component was determined during a routine Mission Assurance exam.
WASHINGTON – United Launch Alliance announced on July 17 that the Delta 4 launch of an Air Force GPS satellite scheduled for July 25th will be postponed until 11:00 pm. This follows an announcement from July 11, that the planned launch of the high-frequency satellite Air Force Advanced in Atlas 5 on July 17 was postponed until August 8 at the latest.
In both announcements, ULA said the delays were "This is due to an anomaly during component testing at a supplier that has led to a cross-over issue. "
ULA confirmed Wednesday that the anomaly has occurred in an upper-tier component that is common to both vehicles, affecting both vehicles in the Atlas and launching the Delta. The announcements called a "cross-over problem" because additional tests were also required for delta in upper anomaly test anomalies.
In both cases, it was found that "after further evaluation additional time is required to." Replace the component on the launcher and test it again.
The Luftwaffe declined to comment. According to a DoD official who spoke on the condition of anonymity with SpaceNews the anomaly was identified during a routine security check, but it was refused to discuss details.
Both vehicles use the Aerojet Rocketdyne RL1
A ULA spokesman told SpaceNews the company has identified a component problem We are working with a subcontractor on our upper tier to make sure the missiles are ready to launch. Our top priority is our customer and ensuring mission success. "
Startup delays are a normal part of the business and are routinely performed. However, these two delays occur at an inopportune time when the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center applied for a "Summer of Launch" campaign, between 24 June and 25 July wanted to perform four launches within 31 days.
The first two were executed successfully. On June 25, the SpaceX Falcon Heavy flew the STP-2 mission from Kennedy Space Center with two dozen small satellites. On July 2, an outdated Peacekeeper missile engine at Cape Canaveral canceled a NASA mission to demonstrate the Orion spacecraft demolition system. The campaign's last two missions would have been the AEHF-5 and the Global Positioning System 3 satellite, which is also the final mission for the Delta-4 "Single Stick" medium.
The first delay in the launch of AEHF-5, The value originally set for June 27, does not refer to the upper stage of the Atlas 5, but to a vehicle battery failure that was detected at the final processing in Cape Canaveral. The launch had been postponed until July 17, before the high school edition led to this last delay.