As News 6 partner Florida Today reported, the Joint Launch Alliance teams have determined the reason behind the dramatic, last-second miscarriage of the Delta IV Heavy Rocket late last month.
ULA CEO Tori Bruno said via Twitter on Wednesday that a torn diaphragm, one of three pressure regulators at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station launch complex 37, blew a computer-controlled scrub just three seconds before liftoff on August 29 gave. The engines briefly ignited, but remained firmly on the rocket pad.
“A torn diaphragm (in the regulator), which can occur over time,” Bruno said. “Status verification of the other two regulators. We will re-test as necessary, and then resume for launch. “
He said teams are aiming for the next 18-morning effort, not earlier than Friday. An exact time has not yet been released.
If the timeline holds, it would actually mark Delta IV Heavy’s third attempt to launch a secret-intelligence satellite known as the NROL-44, known as the National Secret Team. The first launch on 27 August was due to an issue of pneumatics in ground support equipment.
Elsewhere on the Eastern Range, SpaceX is targeting about 12 hours before Delta IV Heavy – so next Thursday afternoon – for its next mission from Pad 39A of Kennedy Space Center. The Falcon 9 flight will orbit the company’s 13th batch of about 60 Starlink Internet satellites and will see first-stage land aboard a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
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