The Air Force announced Tuesday that it has pushed back Thursday’s scheduled launch of the Space-Based Space Surveillance satellite due to a potential problem associated with its Minotaur IV launch vehicle. USAF space officials at Los Angeles AFB, Calif., said in a release that testing of a Minotaur IV in the factory identified a software problem; they want to be sure there are no dangers to the SBSS mission before attempting the launch, slated for Vandenberg AFB. Calif. “The integrated government and contractor team is assessing the cause of the software anomaly and potential corrective actions and expects to establish a new launch date as early as next week,” states the release. A Boeing-led industry team built SBSS. The satellite will be the Air Force’s only space-based asset for detecting and monitoring objects in orbit.
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."