United Launch Alliance launched the U.S. military’s SBIRS GEO 5 early warning satellite into orbit aboard an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. A launch attempt Monday was scrubbed during fueling preps due to a faulty temperature sensor. Liftoff of ULA’s workhorse rocket, fitted with two strap-on solid-fueled boosters, occurred at 1:37 p.m. EDT (1737 GMT).
NASA has selected 14 companies for contracts of more than $370 million to advance technology for human missions to the moon and Mars. Most of the money will support flight demonstrations by SpaceX, United Launch Alliance, and other companies that could lead to in-space refueling and propellant depots for reusable lunar landers and deep space transportation vehicles.