Atlas 5 team scrubs launch to study troublesome valve

Rate this post

Launch of an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral with a U.S. Air Force infrared surveillance satellite was scrubbed Thursday evening after engineers encountered a balky valve associated with the first stage’s liquid oxygen system.

United Launch Alliance, a 50-50 joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, said the problem was narrowed to a ground system at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 launch pad. The countdown was paused to allow members of the Atlas 5 launch team to study a stuck fill-and-drain valve needed to fill the rocket’s first stage with liquid oxygen.

Engineers investigated the problem before calling off Thursday’s launch attempt, which had a 40-minute window to blast off with the U.S. Air Force’s fourth Space Based Infrared System satellite heading for geosynchronous orbit more than 22,000 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers) over the equator.

Source: spaceflightnow