Delta IV Heavy: Watch live as world’s second-most-powerful rocket lifts off

The Delta IV Heavy rocket served as the backdrop for a 3D projection at Cape Canaveral prior to launch. 


Update: A pneumatics review is being performed as of 10:13 p.m. PT, with the countdown clocks stopped at 4 hours and 15 minutes. The launch time is set to be delayed.  

One of the biggest rockets in business today is getting ready to blast off from Cape Canaveral in Florida on a national security mission for the US National Reconnaissance Office, or NRO.

A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket will carry a classified spy satellite to orbit Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. Delta IV Heavy has performed other NRO missions and also sent the Parker Solar Probe on its way to survey our sun. 

The Delta IV Heavy’s lifting capability is currently second only to the SpaceX Falcon Heavy. It resembles the Falcon Heavy, with its three core boosters making up its main body.

Unlike the Falcon Heavy, ULA does not attempt to land its Delta boosters. They will instead be expended and fall into the Atlantic Ocean. 

Any launch of a triple-body heavy lift rocket is still a sight to see, and ULA will be livestreaming the launch, which you can watch via the feed right here on this page. 

The launch is set for 11:12 p.m. PT Wednesday (2:12 a.m. Thursday Florida time). 

If you happen to be in Florida, the rocket will be visible from much of the state as it ascends towards orbit, according to this graphical guide provided by ULA. 



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