DigitalGlobe Worldview-4 launch dates tentatively set after wildfire, hydrogen leak postponements

The Worldview-4, a DigitalGlobe observation satellite, is scheduled to launch late October to early November, ULA announced this week.

An Atlas V rocket ready for launch at Cape Canaveral. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr)
An Atlas V rocket ready for launch at Cape Canaveral. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr)
An Atlas V rocket ready for launch at Cape Canaveral. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr)

United Launch Alliance, the joint venture of Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Boeing Defense, Space & Security, postponed the launch of its Worldview-4 mission again after technical difficulties with its prior two attempts.

The Worldview-4, a DigitalGlobe observation satellite, is scheduled to launch late October to early November, ULA announced this week. The rocket will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California pending final infrastructure evaluation.

Worldview-4 was originally scheduled to launch Sept. 16 but was postponed, first because of a hydrogen leak on one of ULA’s Atlas V propellant tanks, and once again two days later due to wildfires in the region.

ULA CEO Tory Bruno previously described the hydrogen leak as being “outside our history” of experience.

ULA’s largest competitor, Elon Musk’s SpaceX, is similarly still reeling after an explosion destroyed a Falcon-9 rocket and its payload on Sept. 1.

The WorldView-4 launch will mark ULA’s 9th launch of 2016 and 66th launch with the Atlas V rocket.

Multimedia business & healthcare reporter Chloe Aiello can be reached via email at caiello@denverite.com or twitter.com/chlobo_ilo.

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