Delta Heavy launch aborts at T-7.5 seconds

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A ULA Delta Heavy aborted its launch of a secret National Security Administration surveillance satellite last night at T-7.5 seconds.

It was not immediately clear whether any of the rocket’s three Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68A main engines started their ignition sequences, but a statement later released by ULA said the computer-controlled countdown sequencer ordered an abort at T-minus 7.5 seconds.

In the statement, ULA said the abort was “due to an unexpected condition during terminal count at approximately 7.5 seconds before liftoff. “The team is currently reviewing all data and will determine the path forward. A new launch date will be provided when available,” ULA said.

Obviously, there is no word yet on a new launch date.



  • Kirk

    <a href=";Here is the launch attempt video, linked to just before the T-0:30 status check. We get some H2 burning around the base of the stage, but don’t see the big fireball associated with engine start.

    Gotta love a rocket which sets itself on fire as part of a normal launch!

  • Kirk

    “LAUNCH UPDATE: A United Launch Alliance #DeltaIV Heavy carrying the #NROL71 mission for the @NatReconOfc is set to launch on Dec. 18. The mission will lift off from Space Launch Complex-6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Calif. Launch time is 5:57 p.m. PST. ”

    Tuesday the 18th is the same day SpaceX is targeting for their GPS III launch, though they are shooting for a morning launch (9:08 a.m. EST) from the Cape.

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