United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully launched NASA’s Solar Parker Probe on their Delta IV Heavy rocket. Today was the second attempt to liftoff proceeded smoothly for an on-time lifted off at 3:31 am EDT.
The first attempt yesterday was delayed twice before a scrub was called when a new issue occurred at T-1:55m and counting with no time left in the window to try again.
Due to the extremely high energy required for this mission, the Delta IV Heavy’s capability was augmented by a powerful third stage provided by Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems. This allowed the vehicle to get up to 45,000 mph by the time the Solar Parker Probe separated.
Confirmation of the 3rd stage events was delayed due to a signal dropout issue, however, the information was received at one of the ground stations and was relayed manually.
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will be the first-ever mission to “touch” the Sun. The spacecraft, about the size of a small car, will travel directly into the Sun’s atmosphere about 4 million miles from our star’s surface.
United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully launched NASA’s Mars InSight lander today aboard their Atlas V rocket in the 401 configuration from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Following a smooth countdown, the rocket lifted off at 7:05 AM EDT and approximately 94 minutes later the spacecraft separated from the upper stage to begin its six-month journey to the red planet.
After separation of the main payload, two CubeSats MarCO-A and MarCO-B were also successfully deployed and will accompany InSight on its journey. They will be used to relay information from InSight during it’s landing on Mars in November.
This was the first time that a spacecraft destined for another planet had been launched from the west coast.
This evening United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully launched the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC)-11 satellite on its Atlas V rocket in the 551 vehicle configuration with a five-meter fairing, five solid rocket boosters, and a single-engine Centaur upper stage.
Following a smooth countdown, the rocket launched at 7:13 pm EST, further details of the mission milestones have not been released as requested by the customer. Once we get confirmation from ULA we will update this post.
United Launch Alliance launched their 2nd mission of 2018 with the successful liftoff of the Atlas V carrying the Air Forces Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) 4 satellite which will be placed in Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO).
Following a one day delayed due to a valve issue on the pad, the rocket lifted off at 7:48 pm EST from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) Launch Complex 41 and successfully delivered the payload to orbit.
United Launch Alliance (ULA) began it’s 2018 launch manifest with the successful launch of the NROL-47 payload from Vandenburg Air Force Station on Friday 12th. The payload was carried to orbit using ULA’s Delta IV rocket in the 5,2 configuration meaning there was a 5-meter faring and 2 solid rocket boosters attached.
The launch which had been delayed from 2017 to allow ULA time to address an issue found with the rocket was again delayed this week due to weather issue and then technical issues. However, once those issues were addressed ULA successfully launched the payload on Friday. This was the 124th consecutive successful launch for ULA.
This morning at 11:14 AM EDT United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully launched another Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft towards the International Space Station (ISS). This was the third Cygnus that ULA has launched for Orbital and at the present time the last.
Named after the late John Glenn, former Astronaut and US Senator who passed away last December. The launch was delayed several times to allow ULA time to address some issues with the launch vehicle and pad, and then to accommodate the hectic ISS schedule. The vehicle is carrying 3,459 kg (7,626 lb) of cargo to the space station and will spend at least 80 days at the station before being released. After it is successfully completed its mission another of the Saffire experiments will be performed, where a controlled fire will lite. Once that is complete the vehicle will burn up in the atmosphere.
The countdown proceeded smoothly this morning with an on-time launch, which concluded when the Cygnus spacecraft was delivered to orbit.
This was ULA’s 71st Atlas V, 36th 401 config, 4th launch of 2017 and 119th consecutive successful launch keeping their perfect 100% record.
As a side note, this was the last launch for NASA PAO George Diller who has been the voice of NASA for many launches in the past. We hope that he has a great and long retirement and will miss hearing his commentary.