Classified NROL-44 Mission Suffers Rare Delta IV Heavy Hot-Fire Abort

Watch ULA launch a classified spy satellite on its most powerful rocket

Watch ULA launch a classified spy satellite on its most powerful rocket

The United Launch Alliance will send-off their Delta IV Heavy with NROL-44 spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) while SpaceX will launch two of its famed Falcon 9 reusable rocket ships containing cargo from different space agencies.

Then, on Sunday, SpaceX will launch two Falcon 9 rockets - one bringing 60 more Starlink internet satellites into low-Earth orbit and another carrying a SAOCOMB 1B satellite for Argentina's space program.

ULA said in a statement that the mission was scrubbed due to an unspecified problem with a critical ground pneumatics control system and that they require more time to evaluate the issue and resolve it. ULA does not fly the Delta IV Significant incredibly often, as it is an high-priced motor vehicle to make, but the firm makes use of the rocket for large, major satellites in will need of likely to tremendous substantial orbits.

The Delta IV Heavy is the largest launcher in United Launch Alliance's (ULA) fleet, consisting of three rocket cores strapped together.

This morning's abort was the third for the NROL-44 mission.

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This was the third launch attempt in as many days after two scrubs - one on August 26 due to customer request and one on August 27 resulting from a technical problem with the ground pneumatics control system. The place of work just notes that "NROL-44 supports NRO's general nationwide security mission to supply intelligence information to the United States' senior policy makers, the Intelligence Community and Division of Protection". Officials said the forecast shows an 80% chance of favorable weather conditions for the launch. Although classified, it is believed to be the tenth Orion spy satellite.

ULA Delta IV Heavy rocket. Saturday's launch will mark its 12th mission overall. Another launch attempt will be possible in 24 hours. At the time of publishing, all is proceeding as expected for ULA's Delta IV Heavy launch attempt and the weather looks good on Saturday, August 29.

The launch has been rescheduled for 2:08 a.m. EDT on Friday from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral.

You can watch a livestream of the Delta IV Heavy launch on the ULA website, starting about 20 minutes before takeoff. SpaceX's Falcon 9 will launch from pad 40 on Florida's coast. The mission could be the first of three again-to-back launches out of the Cape, as well, with SpaceX set to launch a mission on Friday and then another on Sunday.

It was originally scheduled for March but technical issues and pandemic restrictions caused numerous delays.

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