United Launch Alliance could load cryogenic methane and liquid oxygen propellants into a Vulcan rocket test article at Cape Canaveral for the first time in the coming weeks, timing key tests for the next-generation rocket in between flights of Atlas 5 rockets that will share the same launch complex for the next few years.
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).
A second unpiloted test flight of Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule — ordered after an initial demonstration mission fell short of reaching the International Space Station — is now scheduled for launch from Cape Canaveral in August or September, leaving little margin to conduct the spaceship’s first flight with astronauts before the end of the year.