Launch of US military satellite postponed due to Russian engine failure

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The company United Launch Alliance (ULA) decided to postpone the launch of a US military satellite due to abnormal operation of the Russian RD-180 Atlas V carrier rocket during the start of a cargo ship to the International Space Station. This was reported by RIA Novosti on Friday, March 25.

The launch of the satellite MUOS-5 postponed at least until May 12. During this time the ULA experts plan to study failure in the parameters of the previous launch of Atlas V.

As it was noted in the company, the delay of the start will “allow to perform additional analysis of the data, and confirm readiness for the MUOS-5 mission”.

Earlier, on March 25, ULA reported that during the latest launch the upper stage of the Atlas V rocket (named Centaur) worked longer than usual. According to preliminary data, the reason could be a problem in the first stage of the carrier, where Russian RD-180 are installed. Longer work of RL10 at the upper stage could have helped compensate for the early shutdown of the RD-180.

Atlas V rocket launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on March 22 from the spaceport at Cape Canaveral (Florida, USA) with a Cygnus cargo transport. The docking to the station is scheduled for March 26.

RD-180 engines are produced by Khimki scientific-production association Energomash. These units are installed on the American launch vehicles of the heavy class Atlas V, made by ULA (United Launch Alliance) – a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

MUOS network is designed to provide secure mobile communications for the US Army.

Source: Lenta.Ru