United Launch Alliance was scheduled to launch a U.S. national security mission using the Delta IV Heavy rocket on 29 August at 11:30 IST. The ULA team is constantly tweeting about the updates of the upcoming launch. The liftoff was originally planned to take place on early Thursday but was moved to Saturday.
The launch will take place from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Inside the rocket, there is a spacecraft known as NROL-44 which comes from the National Reconnaissance Office. The first attempt at the launch was scrapped off due to an issue with a critical ground pneumatic control system.
The engineers from ULA were working vehemently to fix the issue, and as reported by ULA on Friday that the assessment of the issue was complete and the grounds system went back to normal. The launch of Delta IV heavy will make the eight mission as part of the NRO missions.
Furthermore, this latest launch will be accentuated by another launch which is scheduled to take place sometime in September. However, the September launch will not be on Delta heavy’s shoulders, but Atlas V will make the launch.
Delta Heavy, last October, was used to launch NASA’s Parker Solar Probe from Cape Canaveral on a mission to study the sun. Before the launch took place, ULA hosted a 3D mapping using the rocket and launch hanger as the backdrop. As for its time span, it took a total of three years for ULA to finish working on this project because the base had restricted access due to it being a national security payload.
As for the launch update, ULA tweeted to let everyone know that the launch is scrubbed today due to an unexpected condition during the terminal count at approximately three seconds before liftoff. The team was evaluating temperature readings on the vehicle compartment.
Now, the ULA Launch Director Lou Mangieri has announced that they will not continue with countdown operations today.
The team is currently reviewing all data and will determine the path forward. The required recycle time prior to the next launch attempt is seven days minimum.
The new ULA launch time has not yet been established at this moment.