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Vandenberg rocket launch delayed until Sept. 18

By   /   Friday, September 16th, 2016  /   Comments Off on Vandenberg rocket launch delayed until Sept. 18

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Updated at 5:25 p.m. Sept. 16:

An Atlas V rocket scheduled to launch an earth imaging satellite into orbit at 11 a.m. Sept. 16 from Vandenberg Air Force base was delayed because of a minor leak in one of the ground propellant tanks.

The United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Boeing Defense, Space and Security, planned to launch the rocket from Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex-3.

The company rescheduled the launch to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 18.

Planning for the mission started in 2007 under the name GeoEye-2 and was slated to launch in the spring of 2013. The satellite’s launch was delayed three years because of a merger.

In January 2013, competitors DigitalGlobe and GeoEye merged operations of the independent fleets of imaging satellites.

After the merger, the company decided to launch DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 satellite because it also was designed with short-wave infrared bands that can penetrate airborne particulates like fog, haze, dust or smoke.

Final preparations were made to the satellite Sept. 8 as technicians at Vandenberg encapsulated the satellite in a white, 4 meter tall protective nose cone.

• Contact Philip Joens at [email protected]

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