Orbital ATK Technologies Support Today's ULA Delta IV Launch

Herbert Rhodes
January 14, 2018

The ULA Delta IV rocket launch was canceled again on Thursday after several issues and anomalies with the rocket.

The Delta IV rocket will deliver a national security satellite into space as part of mission NROL-47 from the National Reconnaissance Office. On Wednesday it was scrubbed due to high winds at the Vandenberg Air Force Base where the launch is scheduled to happen. ULA, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, is targeting a 1:55 p.m. PST/4:55 p.m. EST launch. Assuming confirmation of a problem-free launch Friday, ULA's record will stand at 124 successful flights in a row, including 27 for the NRO.

At that point, in keeping with standard practice for classified missions, United Launch Alliance ended its coverage and the rest of the flight was carried out in secrecy.

The launch was delayed twice earlier this week.

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Last month, from Vandenberg captured the attention of Southern Californians throughout the region with a spectacular show in the night sky. Officials are hopeful the weather will cooperate this time.

While details about the payload are classified, groups of amateur satellite trackers can use clues to narrow down the nature of the satellite, including its likely orbit and technology.

The mission was due to take place at Space Launch Complex-6 - around 140 miles from downtown Los Angeles in California. The NRO publicized the launch with generic tweets, saying the mission was the first of two planned by the agency this year. "Aerojet Rocketdyne employees across the country work hard to ensure 100 percent mission success, and our role in yet another launch for the National Reconnaissance Office demonstrates the trust and confidence in our propulsion". The launch will be broadcast live on the ULA website as well as on YouTube.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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