Fuel leak delays Atlas V rocket launch until Tuesday morning: watch it live
Update for December 7 at 3:58 a.m. ET: The United Launch Alliance is now targeting a 5:03 am EST (1003 GMT) launch time of today’s Space Test Project 3 mission carrying NASA’s laser communications relay demo satellite and Space Force payloads. The launch was postponed for an hour due to the high winds.
A US military mission will take off Tuesday morning (December 7) after a two-day delay, and you will be able to watch the take-off live.
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket Space Test Program-3 (STP-3) is scheduled to launch at 4:04 a.m. EST (0904 GMT) Tuesday from the Cape Canaveral space station in Florida. You can watch the launch live here on Space.com, courtesy of ULA, or directly through the company.
STP-3 was originally scheduled to launch on Sunday (December 5), but that plan was canceled after crews discovered a leak in the ground system that stores the rocket thruster at Cape Canaveral. Repairing the leak and verifying that all is well with the system resulted in a 48 hour delay, ULA representatives explained via Twitter during the weekend.
Related: The history of rockets
STP-3 will launch two satellites carrying a variety of technology demonstration payloads, most sponsored by the Department of Defense space testing program. Most payloads are categorized, but we know a bit more about some of them.
For example, the larger of the two satellites, called STPSat-6, carries a NASA’s new laser communication system and a National Nuclear Security Administration payload designed to detect the explosion of nuclear bombs from space.
The launch of STP-3 will launch a very busy three-day period of space flight. A Russian Soyuz rocket is slated for launch billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and two more people to the International Space Station early Wednesday morning (December 8), for example, and an Electron booster from Rocket Lab will send two commercial Earth observation satellites into orbit that same evening.
Thursday, December 9 will see the launch of NASA’s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer satellite atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as well as the take-off of Blue Origin Space tourism mission NS-19. NS-19 will send six people – including Good Morning America host and former NFL star Michael Strahan and Laura Shepard Churchley, the eldest daughter of the first American in space. Alain shepard – during a brief trip to suborbital space.
Mike Wall is the author of “The low“(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about finding alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on twitter @Spacedotcom Or on Facebook.
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