ULA Delta IV Heavy rocket set to launch NROL-44 mission

25 August 2020 (Last Updated August 25th, 2020 16:41)

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket is all set to launch the NROL-44 mission for the US’ National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and is currently in final preparations.

ULA Delta IV Heavy rocket set to launch NROL-44 mission
A ULA Delta IV Heavy rocket is set to launch the NROL-44 mission for the US’ NRO. Credit: US Air Force / Joe Davila.

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket is all set to launch the NROL-44 mission for the US’ National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and is currently in final preparations.

The launch is scheduled to be conducted on 26 August at Space Launch Complex-37 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to support national security.

ULA Government and Commercial Programs vice-president Gary Wentz said: “ULA is proud of the long-standing history of supporting critical national security missions and the continued partnership with our mission partners.

“Only the Delta IV Heavy possesses the capability to deliver this unique mission to orbit due to a combination of heavy lift and the largest flight-proven payload fairing.”

The three common core boosters of the Delta IV Heavy are powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68A liquid hydrogen / liquid oxygen engine that produces approximately 2.1 million pounds of thrust.

The second stage of the vehicle is powered by an AR RL10B-2 liquid hydrogen / liquid oxygen engine.

This will be the 41st launch of the rocket. The heavy lifter Delta IV Heavy conducts missions for the US Space Force, NRO and Nasa.

Previously, the vehicle has launched Nasa’s Orion capsule on its first orbital test flight.

Additionally, the vehicle was used to send the Parker Solar Probe, making it the fastest robot in history while surfing through the sun’s atmosphere.

To date, ULA has delivered 140 missions to orbit that support weather tracking, study of the solar system and provide capabilities for troops in the field and enable GPS navigation.