Update for 8 p.m. ET, Dec. 4: The United Launch Alliance has postponed the launch of the Space Test Program 3 mission STP-3 for the U.S. Space Force to no sooner than Monday, Dec. 6 due to leak in an Rocket Propellant-1 (RP-1) floor system storage tank. Lifoff is ready for 4:04 a.m. EST (0904 GMT) on Dec. 6.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — United Launch Alliance (ULA) will launch an Atlas V rocket into space early Sunday morning (Dec. 5), and you may watch the motion dwell on-line.
The two-stage rocket is scheduled to blast off from Space Launch Complex 41 right here at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 4:04 a.m. EST (0904 GMT), carrying a mixture of payloads for the U.S. Space Force on a mission known as STP-3 (Space Test Program-3).
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The 196-foot-tall (59.7 meters) rocket is ready to launch in its most hefty configuration: the 551. This implies that the rocket is powered by 5 strap-on strong rocket motors, a single-engine Centaur higher stage, and its payload is tucked inside a 16.4-foot-wide (5 m) fairing.
This model of the Atlas V has launched a quantity of high-profile payloads over the years, together with NASA’s Curiosity and Perseverance Mars rovers.
The rocket rolled out to its launch pad on Friday (Dec. 3), making the 1,800-foot (550 m) journey from ULA’s vertical integration facility to the pad.
Tucked contained in the payload fairing are two satellites, every containing a bunch of technological prototypes and experiments that shall be examined in orbit.
Most of the payloads, that are sponsored by the U.S. military’s Space Test Program — a division devoted to overseeing the Department of Defense’s space-related actions — are categorized. However, the bigger of the 2 satellites, referred to as STPSat-6, can also be carrying a novel laser communication payload for NASA.
Also on board is a payload for the National Nuclear Security Administration that’s designed to detect nuclear detonations from space.
The smaller “rideshare” satellite tv for pc, referred to as LDPE-1 (Long Duration Propulsive EPSA spacecraft), will take a look at a propulsion system in space and different applied sciences as properly.
Sunday morning’s launch would be the one hundred and ninetieth general flight for ULA and the corporate’s longest mission to date, in accordance to ULA representatives.
“STP-3 is a unique mission, as the Atlas V will deliver STP-3 directly into Geosynchronous Equatorial Orbit (GEO). This is a highly complex orbital insertion that requires three Centaur burns and precise navigation, a capability unique to the Atlas V,” Gary Wentz, ULA vp of authorities and business applications, mentioned in an announcement. “This is our longest mission to date, at seven hours and 10 minutes until final spacecraft separation.”
The launch comes on the heels of SpaceX’s twenty seventh rocket launch of the year, which blasted off from an adjoining pad on Thursday evening (Dec. 2) and delivered 50 satellites to orbit, together with 48 of the corporate’s Starlink web craft.
Forecasters on the forty fifth Space Delta have mentioned that there is a 90% chance of favorable conditions for an on-time liftoff within the early morning hours on Sunday. The climate deteriorates barely on Monday (Dec. 4) for a deliberate backup try if want be.