On the way to its target orbit, the Atlas’ Centaur upper stage rocket released a cubesat that was riding as a secondary payload.
An Atlas 5 carrying AEHF-5 lifted off at 6:13 AM EST from Space Launch Complex-41 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The Air Force integrated a 12U cubesat on the Centaur’s aft bulkhead carrier.
The anomaly was detected during a routine mission assurance check.
Discarded Atlas 5 upper stage breaks up in orbit • Viasat, China Satcom partner on IFC • Hughes signs Jupiter-3 customer
The reason for the Atlas 5 upper stage break up, believed to have occurred between March 23 and March 25, is not yet known.
This was ULA’s eighth launch this year, the 131st since the company was formed in 2006, and will be its 50th launch for the U.S. Air Force.
United Launch Alliance beat out SpaceX and Arianespace to win a launch contract for an upcoming Viasat satellite.
The recent launch boom on Florida’s Space Coast is creating some headaches for the companies involved, as well as for NASA and the U.S. Air Force.
United Launch Alliance plans to increase its activities in the commercial launch market using both the current Atlas and future Vulcan rockets, while acknowledging that the U.S. government will remain its major customer for the foreseeable future.
The U.S. Air Force has decided not go ahead with a proposal to support two launches from the Eastern Range in less than 24 hours this week, but officials say being able to do so remains a goal as part of efforts to support increased launch activity.
Let’s set the record straight on Russian rocket engines and next-generation American launch vehicles.
Lockheed Martin has ended its effort to return a small-to-medium-lift launch vehicle to market, and plans to keep the Atlas 5 rocket in flight concurrently with United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket for the first five years of operations.
NASA awarded a contract to United Launch Alliance March 3 for the launch of the second in a series of next-generation polar-orbiting weather satellites.
NROL-79 took off at 12:50 pm Eastern from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on ULA’s 21st mission for the intelligence agency.