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USAF delay GPS IIF2 launch for 24 hours

Article by: Mike Barrett
Date: 14 Jul 2011

The launch of the Delta IV rocket carrying the second of the new GPS IIF satellites has been delayed for 24 hours. The new launch time is 2:45 to 3:04 Friday morning EDT (7:45 to 8:04 BST).

The delay is to allow last minute checking out of the satellite. There were a number of rumours and speculation flying round NASA's Kennedy Space Center today, but no firm facts as to the cause of the delay were mentioned.

The official USAF 45th Space Wing press release follows:

GPS Block IIF satellite launch postponed 24 hours

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. – The launch of a Delta IV rocket carrying the GPS IIF-2 payload for the Air Force is being postponed 24 hours to allow the GPS spacecraft team time to complete an assessment of a technical item.

The launch is rescheduled for Friday, July 15 from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., at the opening of a 19-minute window at 2:45 a.m. EDT. The forecast for July 15 shows a 70 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for the launch.

Posted by MikeB on Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:31 am Reply with quote

Whilst we were setting up remote cameras on the SLC-37B pad we were hustled off due to ‘Phase 2 lightning warnings’ on nearby pads 40 and 41. This meant that not only did we have to get to a safe place, but that the Mobile Service Tower could not roll back from the rocket.

This meant that the countdown for launch could not continue and eventually the inability to roll back the Mobile Service Tower resulted in the countdown exceeding the available launch window. This meant that the launch had to be scrubbed for the day.

The Delta IV carrying GPS IIF-2 is now scheduled for Saturday morning between 2:41am to 3:00am.

Mike Barrett

Posted by Guivre46 on Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:33 am Reply with quote

I thought they launched communication satellites 2 or 3 at a time, not one by one?

Mike R [aka Wyvern46]
Go 530T - unsupported
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Kia In-dash Tomtom

Posted by MikeB on Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:32 am Reply with quote

Guivre46 Wrote:
I thought they launched communication satellites 2 or 3 at a time, not one by one?
It really depends what they are. The USA generally have a single rocket per payload, especially the new NROL and GPS space craft as these are big and heavy. SpaceX changed that with the second of their test rockets when the Dragon capsule was released the second stage re-fired and then deployed a second spacecraft.

With some of the Minotaur launches from Wallops Island they have up to 6 different spacecraft. It really depends on the size of the spacecraft, and the lifting power of the launch vehicle. The GPS IIF satellites are now launched on Delta IV ELVs because they are too heavy for the Delta II rockets.

Mike Barrett

Posted by pillboxman on Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:07 pm Reply with quote

They don't tell you everything thats in the launch package.
Very Happy

Posted by MikeB on Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:14 pm Reply with quote

pillboxman Wrote:
They don't tell you everything thats in the launch package.
Very Happy
Generally they do, they may not tell you what it does, but they do say how many are being deployed. The reason for this is that it is pretty easy for payloads to be spotted in orbit nowadays. The more secretive they are the more people try to look for the payloads.

Mike Barrett

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