Military Satellite Launch Delayed After Fuel Leak

The military rocket launch was delayed after a leak was found in the fuel ground storage system.

The Atlas 5 rocket launch was initially scheduled for Monday, but then the launch provider said employees needed more time to evaluate the fuel issue. The new launch date is Tuesday, Dec 7.

The launch was scrubbed after a leak was discovered in the ground storage system.

The ground storage system will need additional time to verify the sample integrity of the fuel prior to tanking operations.

The Atlas 5 rocket's first stage is powered by a highly-refined rocket-grade kerosene fuel called the RP-1. Even though the ground storage has been repaired, the team will need to inspect it.

It is probably par for the course that it is taking extra precautions given that ULA has a high success rate. ULA says it has handled more than 140 launches in the last six years.

The 90th launch of the Atlas V rocket will take place on Thursday. ULA has launched 146 times with 100 percent mission success.

The team may have avoided a catastrophe by finding the fuel leak, and it is a good sign that they are taking the appropriate amount of time to get things right since this is a complicated launch.

The Atlas 5 will deliver the mission directly into theGEO. ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs Gary Wentz said in the press release that this is a highly complex orbital insertion. This is the longest mission to date, lasting seven hours and 10 minutes. We are grateful to our mission partners for their hard work and for helping us launch this mission.

It doesn't sound like the team was expecting problems, but they knew the launch could be complicated and would require teamwork and precision in the event of a fuel leak.

SFN reported that the launch was to carry two Space Force satellites with technological prototypes and experiments into space. The Defense Department's space missions are overseen by the military's Space Test Program. SFN says the military did not reveal details about the satellites or what they were testing, but did include communications, space domain awareness and space weather monitoring among their primary objectives.

The Long Duration Propulsive ESPA, or LDPE 1, will be going into space with the Atlas 5. LDPE will help pave the way for future missions and is equipped with its own propulsion system.

In a video at the Small Satellite Conference earlier this year, Col. Heather Bogstie, senior materiel leader of the rapid development division at SMC, said that they call the LDPE their "freight train to space." We hope to launch these once a year, funding permitting, and get capabilities on the ground in a rapid fashion.

It looks like a crisis has been averted, and rocket watchers will still be able to see the launch.

There is a Chinese Rover on the Moon.

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