UPDATE: DEC. 8, 8:40 PM | The launch of a rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base was delayed once again Saturday night.
The United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV Heavy rocket was set to take off at 8:15 p.m. Saturday carrying a secretive satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office, but a last-second problem forced it to stop.
“A hold was called approximately T-minus 7 seconds due to a problem detected by the Terminal Countdown Sequencer Rack,” according to the ULA.
At about 8:28 p.m., the call was made to not retry the launch that night, instead scrapping it until a later date.
“A new launch date has not yet been established,” the ULA said.
PREVIOUSLY: Dec. 8 | The launch of a satellite-carrying rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base was rescheduled for 8:15 p.m. Saturday after a Friday-night launch was canceled due to an “issue with a redundant communication link between the control center and launch site,” according to United Launch Alliance.
Prior launches from Vandenberg have created spectacular light displays over the Southern California and the southwestern United States.
PREVIOUSLY: Dec. 7, 2:52 PM | With storm clouds moving out of the area, Southern California could be in for another spectacular show, with a rocket carrying a reconnaissance satellite scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County.
If successful, the launch will be the second rocket to take off this week from Vandenberg. Hawthorne-based SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from the base Monday, carrying 64 satellites into orbit.
Friday’s launch, was scheduled for 8:19 p.m., and was set to be being carried out not by SpaceX, but by United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing.
ULA’s Delta IV Heavy rocket will be carrying a secretive satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.
According to the company, the Delta IV Heavy rocket includes three Rocketdyne liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine that can produce a combined 2.1 million pounds of thrust.
As of Thursday afternoon, the weather forecast for the Lompoc area was indicating a “40 percent chance of favorable conditions for the liftoff,” according to ULA.
“The only concern for a launch weather rule violation will be winds,” the company stated.
ULA has carried out 27 launches for the National Reconnaissance Office over the past 12 years.
Jeremiah Dobruck is the breaking news editor of the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @jeremiahdobruck on Twitter.
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