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Launch of Atlas V Rocket Won’t Occur Until Late October or Early November

Liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base has been delayed due to Canyon Fire-related repairs

Workers install an Atlas 5 rocket payload fairing, with the WorldView-4 satellite tucked inside, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in September. The launch, which was postponed by the Canyon Fire on the base, is not expected to occur until late October or early November. Click to view larger
Workers install an Atlas 5 rocket payload fairing, with the WorldView-4 satellite tucked inside, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in September. The launch, which was postponed by the Canyon Fire on the base, is not expected to occur until late October or early November. (United Launch Alliance photo)

Launch of an Atlas V rocket carrying the WorldView-4 spacecraft and assorted micro satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base won’t occur until late October or early November as Canyon Fire-related repairs continue.

DigitalGlobe announced the launch status Monday morning, days after Vandenberg officials revealed they were bringing in additional crews to help with the aftermath of the Canyon Fire which charred more than 12,500 acres last month.

A faulty valve postponed the departure of the United Launch Alliance rocket’s departure Sept. 16, with plans to try again Sept. 18.

However, the Canyon Fire sparked on South Base, foiling the second attempt and leaving the rocket grounded indefinitely.

DigitalGlobe’s announcement says the launch has been “delayed due to ongoing efforts to restore and test infrastructure at Vandenberg Air Force Base following last month’s wildfires.

“DigitalGlobe is working closely with the U.S. Air Force and United Launch Alliance to identify a new launch date, targeting late October or early November,” the statement said.

“The WorldView-4 satellite is safe and secure atop its Atlas V launch vehicle. The company continues to expect WorldView-4 to begin generating revenue in the first half of 2017.”

Last week, after ignoring requests for information and giving no updates regarding efforts to restore launch support equipment damaged by the fire, Vandenberg officials admitted they had requested additional crews to help with repairs. 

Members of the 85th Engineering & Installation Squadron from Keesler AFB, Mississippi were summoned to help Vandenberg crews with what base officials admitted involved “a large amount of work to be accomplished.”

WorldView-4 is the latest in a series of commercial high-resolution satellites providing data to customers in defense and intelligence, public safety, civil agencies, map making and analysis, environmental monitoring, oil and gas exploration, infrastructure management, navigation technology, and providers of location-based services.

Utilizing a routine rideshare program, Atlas also will carry a seven CubeSats sponsored by the National Reconnaissance Office and involving Cal Poly and Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems Inc.

The CubeSats are part of an unclassified technology demonstration program. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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