TAG: GPS IIF-3

Launch of GPS Satellite Struggled through Tense Moments

December 10, 2012By
United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket blasts off from Space Launch Complex-37 with the U.S. Air Force’s Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF-3 satellite. This launch marks the 9th ULA launch this year, the 54th Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) mission, and the 65th launch since ULA was formed nearly six years ago.

A new report by Spaceflight Now reveals that the launch October 4 of a GPS satellite experienced tense touch-and-go moments. The Delta 4 rocket’s cryogenic upper stage engine experienced a fuel leak that caused a low-thrust condition. Four-and-a-half minutes into the launch, after the first stage had shut down and separated, the trouble began as the RL10B-2 engine on the... read more

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