RL10 investigation delays X-37B launch
Posted: Mon, Oct 22, 2012, 6:07 AM ET (1007 GMT)
The ongoing investigation into a problem with an upper stage engine on a recent launch will delay the next launch of the military's secretive X-37B spaceplane until next month, United Launch Alliance announced late Friday. The Air Force had planned to launch the X-37B on the Orbital Test Vehicle 3 (OTV-3) mission this month on an Atlas 5 from Cape Canaveral. However, ULA said Friday it is delaying the launch while an investigation into a problem with the RL10 engine on a Delta 4 launch earlier this month continues. The launch did place its payload, a GPS satellite, successfully into orbit, but the RL10 experienced lower-than-normal chamber pressure. The Atlas 5 uses a different version of the RL10, but ULA said it and the Air Force decided to wait until a "thorough crossover assessment" of the issue could be completed. The launch is now planned for November 13.
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