A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 4:18 p.m. EDT (2018 GMT), following a delay of more than an hour to troubleshoot a ground hydraulics controller. The Atlas 5 launched with the U.S. military’s sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency strategic communications satellite.
The first launch of a U.S. Space Force mission since the establishment of the new military service is planned Thursday, when a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket is set for liftoff from Cape Canaveral with a billion-dollar jam-resistant communications satellite designed to ensure national leaders remain connected with the armed forces.
The head of Italian rocket-maker Avio said Thursday that preparations are proceeding without interruption for the launch of a Vega rocket later this month in French Guiana, but officials have adjusted work schedules at the company’s Vega manufacturing plant near Rome in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
After scrubbing a launch attempt Nov. 29 due to a problem with a second stage umbilical, Rocket Lab launched seven small satellites on an Electron booster from New Zealand at 3:18 a.m. EST (0818 GMT) Friday. The Electron rocket lifted off with an upgraded first stage carrying new hardware to control the rocket’s re-entry before teams attempt to catch the booster on future missions for refurbishment and reuse.