The Planetary Society’s LightSail spacecraft will have to wait at least two more weeks before setting sail on its maiden voyage. United Launch Alliance, the provider of the Atlas V rocket that will carry LightSail into space, announced Friday that the launch date had slipped from May 6 to “no earlier than” May 20—meaning the date remains tentative.
In a statement issued to reporters, ULA said the delay was initiated by the U.S. Air Force, the owner of the rocket’s primary payload. The payload is dubbed AFSPC-5, an acronym for Air Force Space Command. The mission poster features the X-37B, the Air Force’s reusable space plane.
LightSail is one of several CubeSats hitching a ride to space during the flight. The CubeSats are part of a secondary payload called ULTRASat.
LightSail is hitching a ride to space aboard an Atlas V rocket. The rocket's primary payload is dubbed AFSPC-5 (Air Force Space Command). The mission poster features the Air Force's reusable X-37B spaceplane.