Poor weather pushes Delta IV with AFSPC-4 mission to FridayJuly 23, 2014 by Chris Bergin
United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV rocket will make a third attempt to deploy a pair of space surveillance satellites and a technology demonstrator for the US Air Force on Friday. With the initial scrubbed via an issue with the ground support equipment environmental control system, the second attempt failed to avoid very poor weather over Cape Canaveral.
Delta IV Launch:
The Air Force Space Command 4 (AFSPC-4) mission comprises two Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP) spacecraft and the Air Force Research Lab’s Automated Navigation and Guidance Experiment for Local Space (ANGELS).
GSSAP is a four-satellite constellation being developed by the US Air Force to conduct visual monitoring of geosynchronous satellites. The first two spacecraft are being carried by today’s launch, with the remaining two expected to ride an Atlas V into orbit next year.
Built by Orbital Sciences Corporation, many details of the GSSAP spacecraft remain classified, however each spacecraft must have a mass of less than 1,000 kilograms (2,204 pounds) in order for the selected configuration of Delta IV to be able to deliver them into geosynchronous orbit. The spacecraft will fall under the control of the US Air Force’s 50th Space Wing.