Gallery: ULA prepares to send a massive Delta IV Heavy rocket and classified payload to space

ULA Delta IV Heavy from Launch Complex 34 (Photo credit: Seth Kurkowski for Space Explored)

Want to see a really massive rocket blast off to space in the middle of the night? United Launch Alliance is sending its massive Delta IV Heavy rocket to orbit overnight to deploy a classified payload from the National Reconnaissance Office Laboratory. Liftoff is set for 2:05 a.m. ET/11:05 p.m. PT overnight at the earliest.

  • National security mission for the National Reconnaissance Office
  • Unclassified launch period of 1:50 to 6:25 a.m. ET from Space Launch Complex-37 in Cape Canaveral, Florida
  • 12th Delta IV Heavy launch, first since January 2019 at Vandenberg, first from Cape Canaveral since August 2018


Here are some views from Launch Complex 34 in Cape Canaveral, Florida, ahead of the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy launch:

Prior to the launch this week, ULA celebrated the upcoming mission with a magical light show projection:


Learn more about the mission from Geoff Barrett’s launch infographic:


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