Concerns about a part not specified in the upper stretches of the United Launch Alliance rockets have delayed the launch of a GPS satellite in a Delta 4 reinforcement from July 25 to August 22.
The same problem also delayed the launch of Atlas 5.
The delays are related to engineers' concerns about a common component that flies to the higher phases of Atlas 5 and Delta 4 rockets, a spokeswoman for the ULA said on Wednesday.
The Delta 4 launcher now scheduled for lifting before August 22 was scheduled to take the day on July 25 with a GPS navigation satellite for the US Air Force. The ULA land crews transferred the two-stage Delta 4 rocket to the launch pad of Cap Canaveral Complex 37 at the end of May and installed solid rocket reinforcements on each side of the first stage.
The launch of an Atlas 5 rocket, also produced by the ULA, was also delayed by the same issue that caused the delays of Delta 4. The ULA announced last week that the mission of Atlas 5 , aimed at raising the secure communications satellite AEHF 5 from the Air Force from a neighboring layer in Cap Canaveral, would be delayed from July 17 to August 8.
"This is a common component that is used in the upper phase of Atlas 5 and Delta 4," said Heather McFarland, spokeswoman for the ULA. "During testing of the final acceptance of the component to the provider, the support team measures the voltage outside the nominal. The team reviews the data and inspects the hardware to determine the reason. "
McFarland refused to identify the specific component of the rocket when Spaceflight Now asked.
The Atlas 5 and Delta 4 rockets want the RL10 engines built by Aerojet Rocketdyne in their upper stages, consuming a combination of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants.
Mary Engola, a spokesman for Aerojet Rocketdyne, said that there is no problem with the RL10 engine itself.
"The delay is not caused by the RL10 engine, but rather a component obtained by the ULA for the upper phase," said Engola in a statement sent by email.
In a tweet, ULA's chief executive officer, Tory Bruno, said the company ordered launch delays to ensure the mission's success.
"A part of the rocket is working normally," Bruno informed Wednesday. "Another on the same side has failed in a test at a provider. This requires that all parties are suspicious until we can prove the opposite."
The Delta 4 rocket that is about to be launched before August 22 will mark the final flight of Delta 4's average elevation configuration with a single-stage first-stage center reinforcement.
The ULA will retire from the Delta 4-Medium rocket after the launch next month, but will continue to fly with the Delta 4-Heavy rocket – formed by three nuclei of the first stage, which at least will have to carry clandestine loads for the # 39; National Office of Recognition. which owns the fleet of spy satellites from the US government.
The Atlas 5 rocket will also remain operational until the beginning of the 2020s until it will be replaced by the new Vulcan rocket of the ULA, established for its launch in 2021.
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