Next Atlas 5 launch delayed indefinitely

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In the heat of competition: Because of the continuing investigation into the launch issue during its last launch, ULA has now extended the delay of the next launch of its Atlas 5 from one week to an indefinite delay.

The report at the link is very brief, and it also does not give a source. I was not able to find any other reports of this story after doing a web search as well as a search of ULA’s website, so it remains unconfirmed. Nonetheless, I suspect it is real, suggesting the company has uncovered some unexpected issue with the Atlas 5 that now requires more serious action that is going to take time. Stay tuned.


  • Dick Eagleson

    You could be right that ULA has uncovered something lurking in the design/construction of the Atlas V that will prove non-trivial and time-consuming to fix. I think it’s even more likely, though, that their silence is indicative of not being able to, thus far, nail down a cause for the early 1st stage engine shut-off. Something out of the ordinary happened. But ferreting out just what that was may well prove quite difficult or even impossible to discover.

  • mpthompson

    I agree with Dick. Most likely they are having problems understanding what happened to cause premature shutdown. Was something different done with this rocket versus the others, or was it a failure mode that pre-launch testing somehow doesn’t uncover?

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