AEHF-1 Anomaly Update

Posted: October 20, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Do you want to know–in part–why space is so expensive?  It’s because time is money.

In the example we’re discussing here, it means the pending anomaly resolution for the AEHF-1 mission will (not just might) drive the AEHF-2 launch to slip by a year.

I’m not sure what the cost to keep the AEHF-2 team together another year (for now) is, but I’m confident it’s something greater than zero.

Back in August, AEHF-1’s liquid apogee engine did not fire as expected resulting in a rescue plan to eventually put the spacecraft in its proper orbit.  The good news is it looks like AEHF-1 will eventually get where it needs to go.  The bad news is that it will likely approach a year to do so.

Regarding the anomaly, SpaceFlight Now reports the issue is thought to be something other than the IHI Aerospace liquid apogee engine, even as the engine itself did not fire as required.

“We are not expecting any major redesigns to Vehicles 2 or 3 associated with this issue,” Madden said. “I think it’s going to be more (like) some tests and visual inspections that we have to do.”

Madden works AEFH on behalf of Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center.  When he says the AEHF team isn’t expecting any major redesigns, that certainly leaves open non-major redesign work.

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