Delta IV Heavy scrubs again, ULA chief vows to change readiness operations

  • The Mobile Service Tower rolls back from the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying the NROL-44 mission on Wednesday, September 30. United Launch Alliance
  • The Delta IV Heavy rocket is seen on the launch pad Wednesday night during the webcast at 1 minute, 33 seconds before planned liftoff. United Launch Alliance
  • The rocket, shown with a flare stack. United Launch Alliance
  • Starting to get hot at the business end of the rocket at T-10 seconds. United Launch Alliance
  • At T-7 seconds the starboard engine ignites, to be followed by the center and port engines at T-5 seconds. In this case, the abort was triggered just before ignition. United Launch Alliance
  • So the engines didn't fully ignite. United Launch Alliance
  • And so the engines slowly … United Launch Alliance
  • Went dark. United Launch Alliance
  • And then, so did the webcast. United Launch Alliance

Late on Wednesday night, United Launch Alliance's large Delta IV Heavy rocket again came within seconds of lifting off from its Florida launch pad. But once again, the launch was scrubbed.

Following the automated abort of the rocket at T-7 seconds, both the booster and its valuable National Reconnaissance Office payload were said to be safe. Because the abort was triggered just before the rocket's main RS-68 engines had begun to ignite, the delay before the next launch attempt may be less than a week.

"The terminal countdown sequencer rack identified an unexpected condition prior to the engine start sequence," Read More – Source

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