New York (The Verge) — After lengthy delays, ULA’s most powerful rocket poised to launch classified spy satellite theverge.com/2020/9/30/2149….
After more than a month of delays, the United Launch Alliance is slated to launch its most powerful rocket just before midnight on September 30th, lofting a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office called NROL-44.
The rocket going up on United Launch Alliance’s mission is the Delta IV Heavy, a giant vehicle that consists of three rocket cores strapped together to provide extra thrust. It’s one of the most powerful rockets in the world, though it falls short of the power packed into SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy. ULA doesn’t fly the Delta IV Heavy very often, as it’s an expensive vehicle to make, but the company uses the rocket for large, heavy satellites headed to super-high orbits.
ULA has already launched 29 missions for the NRO, many of which have required the Delta IV Heavy. — Loren Grush/@verge