Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has moved the launch date of an upcoming geosynchronous orbit satellite from 2022 to 2023 due to a rideshare scheduling issue, Space News reported Wednesday. The NTS-3 satellite is designed to provide positioning, navigation and timing for U.S. military operations.
United Launch Alliance (ULA) will launch the satellite through the National Security Space Launch program's USSF-106 mission, which is a rideshare arrangement with other U.S. Space Force users.
NTS-3's production and evaluation are progressing on schedule, as the delay is not associated with the satellite's development. Brig. Gen. Heather Pringle, AFRL commander, said the laboratory will use the delay as an opportunity to put more work into NTS-3.