An Atlas V mission that had been scheduled to launch on June 27 has been delayed until early July due to a “vehicle battery failure”. The mission was set to carry the AEHF-5 communications satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit for the US Air Force.
The first stage of the Atlas V earmarked for the AEHF-5 mission arrived at Cape Canaveral on May 18. It was then lifted into the Vertical Integration Facility at the Cape’s Space Launch Complex 41 where it was mated with the Centaur upper stage, five solid rocket boosters, and the payload shroud containing the AEHF-5 spacecraft.
In a statement published on Twitter, United Launch Alliance revealed that the battery failure had been discovered during this stage of processing the vehicle. The launch provider confirmed that “Additional time is needed for your team to evaluate and replace the battery.”
The new launch date for the AEHF-5 Atlas V mission is currently scheduled for July 9.
AEHF-5 was built by Lockheed Martin and is the fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite, all of which have been launched aboard Atlas V rockets. The satellite will be launched aboard an Atlas V 551, a variant of the rocket that features a 5.4-meter (17.7-feet) fairing and five solid rocket boosters.