The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket launch of a national security satellite was scrubbed for the second time this week.
The liftoff was scheduled fro 2:04 a.m. but due to a temperature reading on the rocket the countdown was delayed until 3:28 a.m.
ULA Launch Director Lou Mangieri announced another attempt would not be made Saturday within the launch window.
There are two backup launch windows available on Sunday and Monday, according to forecasts from the U.S. Air Force’s 45th Weather Squadron.
It’s too early to tell what this will mean for the two launches scheduled on Sunday, both from SpaceX.
United Launch Alliance will launch a U.S. national security mission using its Delta IV Heavy rocket early Saturday morning and it should be a treat for early risers because the heavy-lift rocket is a rare sight.
The launch was delayed as engineers completed a thermal analysis of the rocket compartment, according to ULA.
The launch was originally scheduled for 2:04 a.m. on Saturday and was delayed until 3:28 a.m.
The launch will take place from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Inside the rocket’s nose cone is a spacecraft known as NROL-44, a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office.
The first attempt was scrubbed due to an issue with a critical ground pneumatic control system.
The liftoff marks the eighth for the Delta heavy for NRO missions, according to ULA. The private space company has another launch lined up for NRO sometime in September but that will be with Altas V, ULA’s workhorse rocket.
Last October, the heavy-lift rocket launched NASA’s Parker Solar Probe from Cape Canaveral on a mission to study the sun.
Ahead of the launch, ULA did something unusual with the rocket. It used the rocket and launch hangar as a backdrop to project an interactive video, known as 3D mapping.
The project took three years to complete because it’s a rocket with a national security payload on a base with restricted access. It’s the first time a real rocket has been used as a landscape for art, according to ULA. The idea came from ULA CEO Tory Bruno.
If ULA’s launch goes on time, it will be the first of three possible launches this weekend from the Space Coast. SpaceX has two launches planned, both for Sunday.
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Emilee is a digital journalist for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com, where she writes about space and Central Florida news. Previously, Emilee was a space writer and web editor for the Orlando Sentinel and a producer at the Naples Daily News.
World news – GB – ULA Delta IV Heavy rocket launch scrubbed again