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News > Air Force Issues Second Update Regarding Atlas V Centaur Upper Stage Anomaly Review
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Air Force Issues Second Update Regarding Atlas V Centaur Upper Stage Anomaly Review

Posted 7/2/2007   Updated 7/2/2007 Email story   Print story


Release Number: 010707

7/2/2007 - Los Angeles Air Force Base -- The Air Force, United Launch Alliance, the National Reconnaissance Office and other launch team partners are making good progress in the Atlas V upper stage anomaly review. 

The review team has confirmed that a valve failed to close completely on the Centaur upper stage , which resulted in a fuel leak during the coast phase of flight between the first burn of the second stage and the second burn. This caused the final Centaur burn to end a few seconds early due to fuel depletion. The total burn time was approximately four seconds short out of a total Centaur burn time of nearly 900 seconds. 

The review team is examining all possible causes of why the valve did not close properly, and corrective actions are being developed in parallel with the anomaly analysis. 

We will provide further releasable updated information as it is received during the course of the review. 

The Air Force is continuing to process both Atlas WGS and Delta DSP missions towards their August launch dates. It is standard operating policy that SMC will thoroughly evaluate readiness for flight after all data anomalies from prior flights are assessed and dispositioned. 

The Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the U.S. Air Force's center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems including six wings and three groups responsible for GPS, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control network, space based infrared systems, intercontinental ballistic missile systems and space situational awareness capabilities.

SMC manages more than $60 billion in contracts, executes annual budgets of $10 billion and employs more than 6,800 people worldwide.

Media representatives can submit questions for response regarding this topic by sending an emailto: smcpa.media@losangeles.af.mil.

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