New GPS satellite heading for orbit

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Atlas V launch pushed back to Saturday.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. An Atlas V rocket originally scheduled to blast off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Friday has been rescheduled for Saturday after a leak was discovered during final launch preparations. A ground support equipment valve for the launch pad water suppression system will need to be replaced or repaired, according to the United Launch Alliance.

Usually accurate to within a few feet and a billionth of a second, the system also plays an important role in the processing of financial transactions. The $245 million satellite just launched by a private joint venture will replace one that is 19 years old, more than twice the age it was designed to serve.

On Thursday, the Air Force 45th Weather Squadron predicted good weather for Friday’s launch, with light clouds, a slight chance of rain, but no high winds or lightning. The weather forecast had been nearly perfect, and the rocket thundered into a blue sky dotted with puffy white clouds, visible for several minutes as its trail of fire streaked northeast off the pad. This is the last launch scheduled at the cape until Dec. 3, when Orbital ATK will resume its resupply missions to the International Space Station, following a 14-month grounding. Space Florida, the state space-industry development corporation, and Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism are organizing a launch watch party Friday at the Coconuts On The Beach restaurant in Cocoa Beach.

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