Live coverage of the countdown and launch of an Atlas 5 rocket with the U.S. Air Force’s fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite. Text updates will appear automatically below. Follow us on Twitter.
The inaugural test flight of Rocket Lab’s commercial small satellite booster in May fell short of orbit because a software programming error on a piece of ground equipment led a safety officer to send a premature termination command, and the company is planning to deliver the next Electron vehicle to its New Zealand launch pad in October.
The 81st flight of a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket, set for liftoff Friday from Cape Canaveral, will come with its share of firsts when it sends Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule toward the International Space Station on an unpiloted test flight. The launcher will fly without a payload shroud, which typically envelopes satellites during liftoff, and it will debut an uprated dual-engine Centaur upper stage that will power the Starliner on a unique suborbital trajectory optimized for astronaut comfort.