After months of delays, one of the biggest rockets in business today is getting ready to blast off Florida’s Cape Canaveral on a national security mission for the US National Reconnaissance Office.
A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket will carry a classified spy satellite to orbit as soon as Thursday evening. The launch was originally scheduled for Aug. 26 but has been scrubbed multiple times, most recently on Sept. 29, due to technical problems with equipment on the launch pad and weather.
Now it finally looks as though all issues have been addressed and the weather is cooperating for a launch at 3:15 p.m. PT (6:15 p.m. ET) Thursday.
Delta IV Heavy has performed other NRO missions and also sent theon its way to survey our sun.
The Delta IV Heavy’s lifting capability is second only to that of the. It resembles the Falcon Heavy, with its three core boosters making up its main body.
Unlike SpaceX, ULA doesn’t attempt to land its Delta boosters. They will instead be expended and fall into the Atlantic Ocean.
Any launch of a triple-body heavy-lift rocket is still a sight to see, and ULA will livestream the launch, which you can watch via the feed right here on this page.
If you happen to be in Florida, the rocket will be visible from much of the state as it ascends toward orbit, according to this graphical guide provided by ULA.