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ULA again delays Delta IV Heavy launch due to hardware issues at Cape Canaveral – Florida Today

, Florida Today
Published 1:19 p.m. ET Sept. 26, 2020 | Updated 1:20 p.m. ET Sept. 26, 2020

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A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket will launch the National Reconnaissance Office’s next payload from Cape Canaveral in August.

Florida Today

Technical issues forced United Launch Alliance to again delay an upcoming Delta IV Heavy rocket launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the company said Saturday.

“Additional time is needed for the team to test and evaluate the swing arm retraction system,” ULA said of the 24-hour delay from early Sunday to early Monday. “As we believe in safety first and are dedicated to mission success, we are taking our time to thoroughly review the data to determine the appropriate path forward.”

Teams at Launch Complex 37 will target no earlier than just after midnight Monday. An exact liftoff time had not yet been decided.

This mission, tasked with launching an intelligence satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office, has been delayed and scrubbed several times beginning in late August due to a series of hardware issues. Most have involved faulty ground support equipment like the swing arm system, pneumatics, and pressure regulators.

If ULA’s latest schedule holds, the Space Force expects 70% “go” weather conditions during the window. Thick and cumulus clouds are the main liftoff concerns.

The Space Coast is trying to fit in three launches before the end of the month, but Delta IV Heavy’s delays are also pushing two upcoming SpaceX missions. This latest shift means a Falcon 9 mission with 60 Starlink satellites at Kennedy Space Center will likely now target around 10 a.m. Tuesday for its liftoff.

A second Falcon 9 at Launch Complex 40 was then slated to fly at 9:55 p.m. Tuesday with a Global Positioning System satellite for the Space Force. But as of Saturday afternoon, it was unknown whether or not SpaceX would have to push this mission to late Wednesday.

See the latest, most up-to-date launch calendar at www.bit.ly/3czB11m.

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Contact Emre Kelly at aekelly@floridatoday.com or 321-242-3715. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @EmreKelly. Support his space journalism by subscribing at floridatoday.com/specialoffer/.

Launch Monday, Sept. 28

  • Rocket: United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy
  • Mission: Classified National Reconnaissance Office satellite
  • Launch Time: Just after midnight
  • Launch Complex: 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Join floridatoday.com/space starting at 10:30 p.m. Sunday for countdown chat and live video.

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Delta IV Heavy launch: How to watch world’s second-most-powerful rocket lift off Thursday – CNET

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


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Update: The launch has been delayed by 24 hours and will be attempted Thursday night.  

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 Thursday night and early Friday morning. The launch was originally scheduled for Wednesday but Launch Director Lou Mangieri called off the launch late in the evening. Delta IV Heavy has performed other NRO missions and also sent the Parker Solar Probe on its way to survey our sun. 

From the lab to your inbox. Get the latest science stories from CNET every week.

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 Thursday (2:12 a.m. Friday 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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Delta Aquariid, Alpha Capricornid Meteor Showers Coming Our Way – Newser


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When the door for one sky show closes, another one opens—and with the comet Neowise starting to fade, two sets of meteor showers are ready to fill that slot. If the weather holds up, space enthusiasts should be able to catch a glimpse this week of both the Delta Aquariid and Alpha Capricornid meteors, with the former set to peak Monday through Wednesday, and the latter set for its biggest show on Thursday, USA Today reports. AccuWeather notes that your best chance for a “celestial double feature” would be Tuesday night, with prime viewing time after 1am.

The difference between the two meteor showers: You may spot up to 25 Delta Aquariid meteors per hour, though they’re typically faint, per the American Meteor Society. The Alpha Capricornid showers, on the other hand, usually produce just five or so meteors per hour, but “what is notable about this shower is the number of bright fireballs produced,” the AMS notes. The group says the Delta Aquariids will be active through Aug. 23, while the Capricornid meteors will keep doing their thing through Aug. 15. To best see either show, experts recommend finding a sky with little sky pollution, lying flat on your back or in a reclining lawn chair, and gazing toward the southern horizon. “In less than 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors,” NASA says, per CBS News. (Read more meteor shower stories.)



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