After more than a month of delays, one of the largest rockets in business is getting ready to explode from Cape Canaveral in Florida on a national security mission for the US National Reconnaissance Office, or NGO.
A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket will carry a classified spy satellite into orbit as soon as the evening of Monday, September 28, tipping in the morning on Tuesday, September 29, the company announced Sunday. The launch was originally planned for August 26 but was scrubbed several times due to technical problems with the equipment on the launch pad.
Over the past week, technicians have been working through a problem with the swing arm retraction system and caused more delays.
Delta IV Heavy has performed other NGO assignments and also sentabout to explore our sun.
Delta IV Heavy’s lifting capacity is second to none. It is similar to the Falcon Heavy, with its three core amplifiers that make up the main body.
Unlike SpaceX, ULA does not try to land its Delta boosters. They will instead expand and fall into the Atlantic.
Every launch of a triple-body heavy-lift rocket is still a sight to behold, and ULA will stream the launch live, as you can see via the feed here on this page.
The launch is currently set for 21:02 PT Monday (12:02 ET Tuesday).
If you happen to be in Florida, the rocket will be visible from much of the state as it ascends into orbit, according to this graphical guide provided by ULA.