United Launch Alliance sets new target date for launch

Friday, 13 October 2017, 06:22:09 AM. United Launch Alliance, with hardware fixed, sets new date for Florida rocket launch

A piece of hardware on a United Launch Alliance rocket has been replaced and tested, opening the door for an upcoming mission’s new launch time, possibly as early as Saturday.

In an email, ULA officials said Wednesday morning that the launch of a top-secret spy satellite, originally planned for last week, will take off “no earlier than Saturday, Oct. 14.”

Before Wednesday, the mission had not received a “no earlier than” date.

Space launch companies typically unveil launch dates using that wording to allow for unforeseen obstacles.

The rocket will take off from Florida’s Space Coast and Space Launch Complex 41, which has been active since 1965.

SpaceX to launch Wednesday night »

Weather had forced ULA to delay a launch of its Atlas V rocket last Thursday and Friday.

On Saturday, the company scrubbed a launch because of the rocket’s telemetry transmitter.

The rocket will carry into space the National Reconnaissance Office’s NROL-52 satellite, which is believed to be part of the agency’s space data system, which relays data between satellites and supports the U.S. Air Force.

This launch will be the seventh of the year for United Launch Alliance, which has essentially been alternating Florida launches with its main competitor SpaceX all year.

Got a news tip? msantana@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5256; Twitter, @marcosantana

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