The Atlas V launch that was scheduled for lift-off on Thursday morning has been delayed one day until Friday 24th August due to a technical issue. The launch window opens at 4:07 EST (8:07 GMT) and extends for 20 minutes.
During testing of a different Atlas V rocket booster at the ULA manufacturing plant in Decatur a problem was identified in the mechanics that provide the steering of the rocket engine. ULA technicians are examining the booster to ensure that the NASA RBSP craft does not have similar issues.
To date the Atlas V has has a 100% success record with 31 launches in the various configurations. The majority of which have flown in the NASA RBSP’s Atlas V 401 configuration with a 4 metre payload fairing, no solid rocket boosters and a single Centaur upper stage.
The official delay statement from ULA follows:
The launch of an Atlas V carrying NASA’s Radiation Belt Storm Probes satellite is being delayed 24 hours. An anomalous engine condition was identified during testing of another Atlas vehicle at the Factory in Decatur, Ala., and the delay will allow additional time for engineers to complete their assessments and verify that a similar condition does not exist on the RBSP launch vehicle engine. The launch is rescheduled for Friday, Aug. 24 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.