United Launch Alliance delays two missions due to issues with Atlas V
Coming only 24 hours after United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) announcement on November 2, 2016, of a one week delay of the WorldView-4 satellite launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, the company tweeted that the launch of the GOES-R satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station will also be delayed:
— ULA (@ulalaunch) November 3, 2016
Noting that the cause of the delay for both missions is related to minor Atlas V issues discovered during launch preparations, ULA is taking the pragmatic approach and holding the launches until the issues are resolved. Though WorldView-4 is officially only delayed by a week, it’s nearly certain ULA will delay it further should a solution not be quickly reached.
The WorldView-4 launch has seen several delays, both from equipment issues and from Mother Nature. GOES-R has also been similarly-afflicted. Hurricane Matthew delayed the weather satellite’s launch, initially scheduled for November 4, 2016, then rescheduled for November 16, and now awaiting a resolution for this latest issue before a new date can be set.
Considering both the WorldView-4 and the GOES-R missions are launching on different variants of the stalwart Atlas V — the 401 and 541, respectively — it would appear that whatever gremlin is haunting these two launches is in the core part of the vehicle.
More updates as they become available.