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October 11th, 2016

ULA's WorldView-4's Saga... Fire Damaged Equipment Causes Another Launch Delay 

A wildfire delayed a planned rocket launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The launch of WorldView-4 has been plagued with catastrophes—one after the other. First there was a mechanical delay, and then a raging wildfire. Now word has been issued addressing the rescheduling of the launch.

DigitalGlobe, which owns the WorldView-4 earth imaging satellite sitting atop an Atlas V rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base, said launch of the satellite will now probably take place sometime in late October and early November.

Originally scheduled for September 16, the launch was initially delayed at the last minute because of a minor leak in one of the ground propellant tanks.

The United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Boeing Defense and Lockheed Martin Space and Security, which will launch the rocket, initially delayed the launch for just two days but later scrubbed launch plans indefinitely because of two wildfires that started on the base.

ULA hoped to launch the rocket on September 26, but those plans were later pushed back to early October. DigitalGlobe said now the launch will be delayed further because of infrastructure and testing equipment damaged during the wildfires.

“The WorldView 4 satellite is safe and secure atop its Atlas V launch vehicle,” DigitalGlobe said in a news release. “The company continues to expect WorldView-4 to begin generating revenue in the first half of 2017.”

Pacific Coast Business Times