ULA Scrubs Spy Satellite Launch From Vandenberg Air Force Base Again on Thursday

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A Delta Heavy IV rocket sits on the launch pad of Vandenberg Air Force Base on Dec. 19, 2018. (Credit: ULA)

A Delta Heavy IV rocket sits on the launch pad of Vandenberg Air Force Base on Dec. 19, 2018. (Credit: ULA)

A day after scrubbing the launch of a classified satellite out of Vandenberg Air Force Base, the United Launch Alliance delayed it again Thursday, marking the fifth such reschedule in less than two weeks.

ULA has been trying to get the Delta Heavy IV rocket into orbit since Dec. 7.

The fourth attempt at liftoff was aborted minutes before the scheduled 5:49 p.m.  Wednesday launch due to a hydrogen leak in one of the rocket’s engines.

The leak prompted ULA to postpone the launch again for approximately 24 hours.

But by Thursday morning, the private space launch company announced it had delayed the mission again for a fifth time due to elevated hydrogen level within the port booster engine’s section.

Dec. 30 will be the earliest possible date for the sixth attempt at launching the 233-foot-tall rocket, which is set to deploy a classified satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.

When the rocket finally blasts off from the air base along the Central Coast, it should be visible throughout Southern California within minutes of the launch, according to the company.

 

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