United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 rocket made its way back to the pad at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Thursday morning for a mission carrying national security mission payloads, collectively codenamed Silentbarker. Liftoff has been rescheduled for at 8:47 a.m. EDT (1247 UTC).
The opening salvo in Amazon’s 3,236-satellite Project Kuiper venture is switching its ride to space. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed in a statement to Spaceflight Now on Monday that the first two demonstration satellites for the broadband constellation will launch on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas 5 rocket as soon as Sept. 26, 2023, instead of the inaugural Vulcan rocket.
The final launch of an Atlas 5 rocket from California took off early Thursday with NOAA’s JPSS 2 weather satellite and the LOFTID re-entry tech demo experiment for NASA. The Atlas 5 rocket launched at 1:49 a.m. PST (4:49 a.m. EST; 0949 GMT) Thursday from Vandenberg Space Force Base. United Launch Alliance has 19 more Atlas 5s slated to launch from Florida before the rocket’s retirement.
The first test flight of Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule with astronauts has been delayed from February to April 2023, moving the mission after a busy stretch of crew and cargo missions to the International Space Station, and allowing more time for engineers to address problems discovered on an unpiloted test flight earlier this year, NASA said last week.