Update: The launch has been delayed for 24 hours and will be attempted Thursday evening.
One of the largest rockets in business today prepares to take off from Cape Canaveral, 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 into orbit Thursday evening and Friday morning. The launch was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but launch director Lou Mangieri canceled the launch late that evening. Delta IV Heavy performed other NRO missions and also dispatched theon his way to observe our sun.
The lifting capacity of the Delta IV Heavy is currently only second. It looks like the Falcon Heavy, with its three base boosters making up its main body.
Unlike the Falcon Heavy, ULA does not attempt to land its Delta boosters. Instead, they will be spent and will fall into the Atlantic Ocean.
Any launch of a three-barrel heavy-lift rocket is always a sight to see, and ULA will be broadcasting the launch live, which you can watch via the stream here on this page.
The launch is scheduled for Thursday at 11:12 p.m. (Florida time at 2:12 a.m. Florida time).
If you’re in Florida, the rocket will be visible from much of the state as it ascends into orbit, according to this graphic guide provided by ULA.