Tonight’s rocket launch from Vandenberg is delayed—yet again

UPDATE: DEC. 20, 8:35 A.M. | After multiple delays, United Launch Alliance won’t make another attempt to launch its Delta IV Heavy rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base until at least Dec. 30, the organization announced Thursday morning.

The latest attempt was scrubbed Wednesday night because of elevated hydrogen levels in one of the engines, ULA said in a tweet.

“The team is currently reviewing all data and set the next launch attempt no earlier than Dec. 30, 2018,” the tweet said.

PREVIOUSLY: DEC. 19, 5:39 P.M. | Tonight’s United Launch Alliance rocket launch has been delayed yet again, possibly due to a hydrogen leak.

The next attempt will be tomorrow at 5:31 p.m.

PREVIOUSLY: DEC. 18, 12:22 P.M. | United Launch Alliance has delayed today’s launch of the Delta IV Heavy rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base because of high winds, ULA announced shortly after noon.

This is the third time the launch has been delayed. The next attempt is set for tomorrow, Dec. 19, at 5:44 p.m.

“The forecast indicates an 80 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch,” ULA said.

PREVIOUSLY: DEC. 18, 8:05 A.M. | The twice-delayed launch of a rocket carrying a reconnaissance satellite into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County is scheduled for tonight, potentially giving the Southland a holiday-season aerial light show.

According to United Launch Alliance, it will try again to launch the rocket at 5:57 p.m. The Delta IV Heavy rocket will be carrying a secretive satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.

Launches from Vandenberg, particularly those carried out after sundown, have traditionally created spectacular light shows in the skies over Long Beach, Southern California and the southwestern United States.

The ULA launch was scrubbed Dec. 8 just 7.5 seconds before its scheduled liftoff due to a technical glitch. An operational problem had caused a delay in the launch one day prior to that.

United Launch Alliance is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

According to the company, the Delta IV Heavy rocket includes three Rocketdyne liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engines that can produce a combined 2.1 million pounds of thrust.

ULA has carried out 27 launches for the National Reconnaissance Office over the past 12 years.

 

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