The military kept a launch mistake under wraps for more than year, but now the story’s being told: The Air Force came very close to losing a nearly $2 billion communications satellite.
FOX News Radio’s Chris Stanley has more:
It took 14 months, but Air Force ground controllers were able to delicately rescue the first of six satellites in a $14 billion system designed to upgrade the military’s communications capacity. The launch in 2010 left that first satellite in the wrong orbit and useless. But a rescue plan was devised – a dangerous one – using two weaker propulsion systems, that could have caused the satellite to explode.
Those stems had to be fired hundreds of times, the satellite dodging space junk, until it was finally in the right orbit. The Air Force, only talking about this now, and admitting the problem may have been a piece of cloth left in a critical fuel line during manufacture.
Chris Stanley, FOX News Radio.