Southern California breaking news and trends

Defense rocket launch delayed at Vandenberg

atlas v

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.

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Xombie rocket tests vertical landing near LA

xombie rocket

Screenshot via YouTube

Xombie rocket test.

The privately built "Xombie" rocket made its first free-flight at the Mojave Air and Space Port about 90 miles north of Los Angeles earlier this month.

The Masten Space Systems rocket is part of a NASA program that's testing vertical landing systems for solar system exploration.

Unmanned, the Xombie rocket lifted off the ground, flew horizontally and landed at a pad 164 feet away. The entire demonstration took 67 seconds.

Masten won a $1 million prize using the Xombie rocket in 2009 as part of a NASA-backed simulated lunar landing contest. In 2010, Masten and Armadillo Aerospace were awarded $475,000 from NASA to test vehicles capable of carrying small payloads to near-space.

XOMBIE TESTING 2012:

 

XOMBIE TESTING 2010:

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