United Launch Alliance teams at Cape Canaveral launched an Atlas 5 rocket at 6:13 a.m. EDT (1013 GMT) Thursday with the U.S. Air Force’s fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite. The AEHF 5 satellite will join a network of geostationary relay stations providing secure, jam-resistant video, voice and data links for the U.S. military.
United Launch Alliance is pushing back its next Atlas 5 launch from Cape Canaveral until no earlier than Aug. 8, allowing time for engineers to ensure an unspecified anomaly during component testing at a supplier will have no impact on the Atlas 5’s mission to place a U.S. Air Force communications satellite into orbit.
Boeing said Tuesday the first orbital test flight of its commercial crew capsule, named the Starliner, will be delayed until August “in order to avoid unnecessary schedule pressure” and give priority on the Atlas 5 rocket’s manifest to a U.S. Air Force communications satellite. NASA confirmed Wednesday that officials have approved an extension of the Starliner’s first crewed mission to last up to several months.