Delta 4 rocket launches spy satellite into space

Delta 4 rocket launches spy satellite into space

Delta 4 rocket launches spy satellite into space

The rocket is said to be carrying a spy satellite for the United States government. As usual with classified launchings, no details were provided about the satellite payload or its intended orbit.

Earlier, the launch was postponed at least two times - due to strong winds on Wednesday and due to a technical error earlier on Thursday.

Because of the secretive nature of the mission, not much is known about the NROL-47 payload.

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

"This was an incredibly important launch for the 30th Space Wing and our mission partners", Wood said.

If you see something like this in the sky this afternoon, don't panic. While it's no longer a secret, it does still use its systems to collect information and "Play a crucial role in providing global communications, precision navigation, early warning of missile launches and potential military aggression, signals intelligence, and near real-time imagery to USA forces to support the war on terrorism and other continuing operations", according to the NRO site.

The launch, NROL-47, will mark ULA's 27th mission for the National Reconnaissance Office. The forecast shows a 90 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch.

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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 then delayed by about an hour due to a ground system helium issue. At present, that mission is scheduled to get underway on Thursday, Jan. 18 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 41 located in Floridae launch is scheduled for Jan. 18 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. "We are proud to provide this national defense capability, and every Team V member involved has tirelessly worked to ensure the launch is safe and successful".

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