The United Launch Alliance (ULA) is ready to launch its most powerful rocket on a mission for the National Reconnaissance Office. After several weeks of delay due to malfunctioning components and inadequate weather, the company begins a new broadcast scheduled for October 1st at 12:30 am.
The launch will take place at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and will be provided by the Delta IV Heavy rocket, a vehicle composed of three rocket cores aligned to create a strong thrust. It’s not as efficient as SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy project, but it holds the title as one of the most powerful in the world, being an extremely onerous project and usually aimed at sending satellites to more distant orbits.
The Delta IV Heavy will carry the NROL-44, a secret US agency project simply described as “Supporting the NRO’s general missions to provide information and intelligence to US lawmakers, the Intelligence Community and the Department of Defense “. This will be the 24th mission completed by the ULA for the NRO, which has already used other Delta IV Heavys for previous tasks.
One of the attempts to start this mission by the NRO was on August 29 this year, but the rocket never moved and remained fixed to the structures. In the final moments of launch, ULA professionals discovered that a component failed and caused the mission to abort. The part was replaced weeks later.
The rocket had its mission further delayed by the discovery of other defective equipment. The ULA hopes to be able to bring the rocket into orbit this week, but the weather has not been favorable for the mission. For tonight, the forecast is that time will collaborate with the launch.
The Delta IV Heavy is scheduled to launch at 00:54 (GMT) from the ULA launch base at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and can be followed directly through the channel. YouTube of the United Launch Alliance.