The earliest event was in 1959, the latest event was in 2010
Military and Classified Programs:
1964 – LAUNCH: Classified mission, GD Atlas SLV-3/Lockheed Agena D, SLC4E, VAFB
1974 – LAUNCH: Classified mission, MM Titan 24B, SLC4W, VAFB
2010 – LAUNCH: LM AEHF-1, ULA Atlas V 531, LC41, CCAFS – AEHF-1 engine anomaly
Exploration and Interplanetary Programs:
Earth-Monitoring and Civil Weather Satellite programs:
2007 – LAUNCH: Lockheed BSAT-3A (also Spaceway 3), Ariane 5ECA, ELA3, Kourou, French Guiana
Test, ICBM, FBM programs:
1959 – LAUNCH FAILURE: Martin Titan I, LC19, CCAFS
1959 – LAUNCH: Lockheed Polaris AX, LC25B, CCAFS
1968 – LAUNCH: Lockheed Polaris A2E, SSBN618, ETR
The photos today are of the AEHF-1 spacecraft during processing and the launch in 2010. The anomaly that occurred on the spacecraft is described below, from Space Safety Magazine; final orbit was not achieved for over nine months:
It all started a couple days after AEHF-1’s August 2010 launch aboard an Atlas V rocket. The satellite successfully reached it’s parking orbit. But the main engines needed to circularize the satellite’s orbit refused to work – they kept shutting off. The shut off is a safety feature instituted when a satellite detects a fault in the engines. The question was: what fault?
Experts determined that the fuel line must be blocked. But the attempts to engage the engines had resulted in filling the lines with fuel, thereby putting the satellite at risk of explosion and making it hazardous to attempt another engine fire.
Luckily, AEHF-1 has two additional propulsion systems, albeit much less powerful, designed for use in stationkeeping adjustments, not major changes in trajectory. However, by applying small propulsive adjustments hundreds of times over fourteen months, ground crews were able to slowly coax the satellite into its proper orbit. The major challenge was keeping it intact in the interim. The satellite had to dodge space debris three or four times and deploy its solar shields much earlier than intended – putting them at risk of degradation from radiation exposure in the van Allen belts.
The fault for the blocked fuel line was eventually attributed to a piece of cloth that had been placed over the line during manufacturing to protect it from contamination, but was never removed. “If I had to find the top 10 strange ones, that one would make my list,” said defense analyst Marco Caceres, who tracks rocket and satellite failures as part of his work for the Teal group, an aerospace and defense analysis firm. The Air Force has implemented additional checks for the remaining 5 satellites to be launched as part of the AEHF constellation and docked manufacturer Lockheed Martin $15 million for the mistake.