Science

Fuel Leak Delays Atlas V Rocket Launch Until Early Tuesday Morning: Watch Live

A US military mission will take off on Tuesday morning (December 7) after a two-day delay, and you will be able to watch takeoff live.

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket is scheduled to launch the Space Test Program-3 (STP-3) mission at 4:04 a.m. EST (0904 GMT) Tuesday from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. in Florida. You can watch the launch live here on Space.com, courtesy of ULA, or directly through the company.

STP-3 was originally supposed to launch on Sunday (December 5), but that plan was rejected after crews discovered a leak in the ground system that stores the rocket propellant at Cape Canaveral. Fixing the leak and verifying that everything is fine with the system resulted in a 48-hour delay, ULA representatives explained via Twitter over the weekend.

Related: The History of Rockets.

STP-3 will launch two satellites carrying a variety of technology demonstration payloads, most of them sponsored by the Department of Defense Space Test Program. Many of the payloads are classified, but we know a little about some of them.

For example, the larger of the two satellites, called STPSat-6, carries a new NASA laser communication system and a National Nuclear Security Administration payload designed to detect the detonation of nuclear bombs from space.

The launch of STP-3 will kick off a busy three-day stretch of space flight. A Russian Soyuz rocket is scheduled to launch billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and two others toward the International Space Station early Wednesday morning (December 8), for example, and a Rocket Lab Electron booster rocket will send two commercial observation satellites. of the Earth to orbit that same. evening.

Thursday (December 9) will see the launch of NASA’s X-ray Polarimetry Imaging Explorer satellite atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, as well as the liftoff of Blue Origin’s NS-19 space tourism mission. NS-19 will send six people, including Good Morning America host and former NFL star Michael Strahan and Laura Shepard Churchley, the eldest daughter of the first American in space Alan Shepard, on a short trip to suborbital space.

Mike Wall is the author of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for extraterrestrial life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or on Facebook.

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