United Launch Alliance teams determined the cause of the dramatic last-second abortion of a Delta IV rocket late last month, setting the stage for another attempt no earlier than next week, News 6 partner Florida Today reports.
A ruptured diaphragm in one of three pressure regulators at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 37 caused the computer-controlled scrub just three seconds before takeoff on Aug.29, ULA CEO Tory Bruno said Wednesday via Twitter. The engines fired briefly, but the rocket remained firmly on the pad.
“Ruptured membrane (in the regulator), which can occur over time”
He said teams are currently targeting no earlier than Friday, September 18, for the next pre-dawn attempt. An exact time has not yet been released.
If the timeline holds, it will actually mark Delta IV Heavy’s third attempt to launch a secret intelligence-gathering satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office known as NROL-44. The first launch on August 27 was canceled due to a pneumatic problem in ground support equipment.
Elsewhere in the Eastern Range, SpaceX is tentatively aiming for about 12 hours ahead of the Delta IV Heavy – so next Thursday afternoon – for its next mission from Kennedy Space Center Pad 39A. Flight Falcon 9 will bring the company’s thirteenth batch of approximately 60 Internet Starlink satellites into orbit and will see the first stage land on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
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