Launch of Delta IV rocket with U.S. spy satellite postponed once again

Alan Olson
January 14, 2018

The original launch date was Wednesday, but was pushed back until Thursday due to weather. NROL-47 is NRO's 50th launch since 1996.

Consuming almost 2,000 pounds of liquid propellant per second, the 220-foot-tall rocket rapidly accelerated as it climbed out of the thick lower atmosphere, discarding the strap-ons about one minute and 40 seconds after liftoff.

There's an 80 percent chance of favorable weather for the Friday afternoon launch, United Launch Alliance said on Twitter.

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.

It marked the 27th NRO launch by United Launch Alliance, which is a Colorado-based aerospace partnership between Lockheed Martin and Boeing. It is part of a mission for the National Reconnaissance Office. On Friday, a Delta IV medium rocket of ULA (United Launch Alliance) carrying the top-secret spy satellite payload blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California at 5:11 p.m. EST (2211 GMT, 2:11 p.m. local time).

The United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Friday afternoon
The United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Friday afternoon

The launch will happen at Space Launch Complex-6, which sits about 140 miles west of downtown Los Angeles.

The Delta IV rocket was built in Decatur, Alabama.

Col. Greg Wood, 30th Space Wing vice commander, was the space launch commander. They burned for about 90 seconds and provided more than 560,000 pounds of thrust.

This was the 36th flight of a ULA Delta 4 rocket and the first since last March. The booster and upper stage engines are both built by Aerojet Rocketdyne. After staging, an Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10B-2 granted some 24,750 pounds of thrust, sending the Delta IV's upper stage to orbit.

A ground system helium problem caused blastoff to be delayed by more than hour. Established by the U.S. Air Force, the EELV program provides assured access to space for Department of Defense and other government agencies. "This will be the first of two launches scheduled for NRO in 2018".

UK Prepares Contingency Plans for Public Carillion Projects
As well as employing 19,500 people in the United Kingdom , it is one of the government's biggest contractors. It has previously been reported that EY is on standby for an administration.

USGS: Ice Sheets on Mars Hint at Past Snowfall
Aside from the discovery of the ice deposits, the researchers were also surprised to find that they could potentially be mined. And the ice is buried by just a few feet of Martian dirt in places, meaning it might be accessible to future crewed missions .

House rejects limits on surveillance program after confusion from Trump tweets
House Speaker Paul Ryan , in his weekly news conference, dismissed the notion that Trump didn't know the White House position. This is called the "backdoor loophole" to the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on warrantless spying, and it needs to go .

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

Discuss This Article