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Environment & Science

Defense rocket launch delayed at Vandenberg

Screenshot via United Launch Alliance

The 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg Air Force Base published a media advisory Wednesday night announcing the initial delay of the Atlas V launch. A second push was issued some time later with the rescheduled launch now expected Aug. 4. 

An "uprange instrumentation issue" kept the rocket Earth-bound, however no issues were reported with the Atlas V vehicle or the NROL-36 space vehicle.

The launch window is now set for Aug 4 at 12:13 a.m., and a live simulcast will begin on the ULA website about 20 minutes prior to launch. ULA is a Lockheed Martin and Boeing joint venture providing "access to space" for U.S. government missions.

Satnews, a satellite news website, posted technical details along with ULA's mission description that lays the launch on the National Reconnaissance Office in support of national defense.

Auxilary payloads, or "cubesats," will also be delivered to space as part of the launch. Those missions will study "space weather and communication, space environment, debris mitigation, maritime shipping container tracking, and spaceflight safety and orbit refinement," says ULA.