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.
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: