ULA to try for 5th time Sunday to launch spy satellite

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

ULA's Atlas V rocket on Canaveral Air Fore Complex launchpad 41 ahead of launching NROL-52.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - United Launch Alliance will try for a fifth time Sunday to launch its Atlas V rocket with a top-secret payload for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.

The attempt is scheduled for 3:28 a.m. Sunday.

After trying three days in a row last week, ULA called off the NROL-52 Oct. 7 launch a minute before liftoff due to a telemetry issue with a transmitter on the rocket.

ULA officials said Wednesday that the telemetry transmitter had been replaced and tested. Saturday's launch window opened at 3:31 a.m., but the attempt was scrubbed due to weather conditions.

Air Force Weather officials estimated only a 40 percent chance that weather would not be an issue for Saturday's launch, as heavy cloud cover is expected to move into the Space Coast by Friday evening. The conditions improve Sunday, when the fifth launch attempt is scheduled, with a 60 percent chance of favorable weather.

NROL-52 will be the last launch of the year from the Space Coast for ULA.

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