CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The United Launch Alliance successfully launched its Atlas V rocket early Tuesday.
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According to NASA, the rocket will deliver “cutting edge technology.” It will also deliver NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration technology to orbit.
The mission also includes delivering sensors for nuclear detonation detection.
Watch the launch below:
We have lift off!— NASA (@NASA) December 7, 2021
The @ULALaunch Atlas V rocket blasts off into space at 5:19am ET (10:19 UTC), to deliver cutting edge technology including our Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (#LCRD) technology to orbit. pic.twitter.com/zHgZmJyhaK
UPDATE: The United Launch Alliance said it’s been given approval for launch.
GO for launch! The final readiness poll by Launch Conductor Scott Barney is complete, Launch Director James Whelan confirms the #AtlasV is ready and @SpaceForceDoD Mission Director Col. Erin Gulden has given final permission to launch. Watch the liftoff: https://t.co/LEV7vitjDL— ULA (@ulalaunch) December 7, 2021
UPDATE: The United Launch Alliance said the rocket will now liftoff at 5:19 a.m.
Tory Bruno, the CEO of United Launch Alliance, said upper level winds were still too high.
The launch window ends at 6:04 a.m.
NEW LAUNCH TIME. Launch Director James Whelan has instructed the team to coordinate a new launch time of 5:19 a.m. EST (1019 UTC). Live launch blog and webcast: https://t.co/LEV7vitjDL— ULA (@ulalaunch) December 7, 2021
Upper level winds are still too high!! Working a new time with the Range now. Think even stiller thoughts… #STP3— Tory Bruno (@torybruno) December 7, 2021
UPDATE: NASA and the United Launch Alliance said the launch has been delayed to 5:03 a.m. due to high velocity upper level winds.
Crews said “a series of balloons have been sent aloft over the course of the countdown to measure the speed and direction of upper level winds that the Atlas V will experience during flight. That data is then assessed to verify conditions are within the limits of the launch vehicle.”
UPDATE ➡️ Due to high velocity upper level winds, @NASA's Laser Communications Relay Demonstration is now targeted to lift off at 5:03am ET: https://t.co/4Zi3CONRTr pic.twitter.com/hA5PNyBZCp— NASA's Kennedy Space Center (@NASAKennedy) December 7, 2021
If you are just tuning in, the countdown is holding at T-minus 4 minutes while the launch team awaits acceptable high altitude wind data for the #AtlasV rocket to launch. The tentative new launch is 5:03amEST (1003 UTC), if the next weather balloon finds favorable conditions.— ULA (@ulalaunch) December 7, 2021
After its launch was scrubbed twice in recent days, United Launch Alliance is scheduled to try again to send an Atlas V rocket into space on Tuesday.
The launch, originally scheduled for 4:04 a.m. Sunday, was pushed back to the same time Monday before it was delayed again after a rocket fuel leak was discovered, according to ULA.
The ground storage system leak that scrubbed Sunday’s launch attempt has been repaired, said ULA.
The launch of a ULA #AtlasV 551 rocket carrying #STP3 for the @SpaceForceDOD @USSF_SSC has been scrubbed. The team repaired the ground storage system but will require additional time to verify the sample integrity of the fuel prior to tanking operations.— ULA (@ulalaunch) December 5, 2021
PHOTOS: ULA rolls out Atlas V rocket ahead of launch set for this weekend
But ULA said they needed extra time to verify the sample integrity of the fuel before they can fill the tanks.
ULA is now targeting 4:04 a.m. Tuesday for the next launch attempt.
ULA said the launch is part of the Space Test Program-3 (STP-3) mission for the U.S. Space Force’s (USSF) Space Systems Command (SSC). It is carrying payloads for both NASA and the U.S. Space Force.
There is a lot of advanced technology flying on the mission, including sensors for nuclear detonation detection.
The spacecraft will be delivered to geosynchronous orbit.
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Welcome to Rollout Day for ULA's #AtlasV rocket and @SpaceForceDoD's #STP3 mission to Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral. Liftoff is planned for Sunday at 4:04amEST (0904 UTC), bound for geosynchronous orbit. https://t.co/LEV7vitjDL pic.twitter.com/g2IThYng5Y— ULA (@ulalaunch) December 3, 2021
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