An Air Force investigation has found that a fuel leak is to blame for an October 2012 GPS IIF-3 launch RL-10B anomaly, the service said last week.
The fuel leak occurred in the engine system and caused low thrust, according to an Oct. 24 statement from the Air Force Space & Missile Systems Center (AFSPC). The investigation identified risk reduction areas and based on the findings “a number of corrective actions were implemented,” it said.
However, AFSPC explained the report containing the findings and explaining the corrective actions are not releasable because it is contractor proprietary information and subject to the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations (ITAR) control.
Boeing [BA] develops the GPS IIF series satellites. GPD IIF-3 was launched using a Delta IV rocket on Oct. 4, 2012. Launch provider United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture of Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Boeing, concluded its own investigation in May (Defense Daily, May, 9) but did not release the report to the public.