Vandenberg AFB Rocket Launch of US Spy Satellite Scheduled for Friday

Vandenberg AFB Rocket Launch of US Spy Satellite Scheduled for Friday

Vandenberg AFB Rocket Launch of US Spy Satellite Scheduled for Friday

However, this was not the only variable thrown at the launch team with an issue with a ground system valve forcing mission managers to call a scrub for the Thursday, Jan. 11 launch attempt (s) as well.

Friday's launch was originally supposed to happen on Wednesday, but was pushed to Thursday due to high winds.

ULA was expecting to launch at 1:55 p.m., but the anomalies kept pushing the rocket launch back.

The mission - dubbed NROL-47 - is classified, so we don't know much about the payload and what it'll be used for once in orbit.

At that point, in keeping with standard practice for classified missions, United Launch Alliance ended its coverage and the rest of the flight was carried out in secrecy.

ULA's next launch is the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) GEO Flight 4 mission for the U.S. Air Force on an Atlas V rocket. This week's launch will be ULA's 27th mission for the NRO. But spy satellites launched into polar orbits are typically used for photo or radar reconnaissance, able to observe targets anywhere in the world as the planet rotates below.


Last month, a SpaceX rocket launch caught the attention of San Diegans as a unusual white cloud appeared in the sky at dusk.

The new time - 9pm GMT, Friday, January 12 - will hopefully be when the rocket takes off.

That Falcon 9 rocket launch delivered 10 satellites into low-Earth orbit for Iridium, a communications company.

With operational launch pads on both coasts-Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Space Launch Complex-6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. -every Delta IV configuration is available to service the requirements of current and future satellite programs. The NRO publicized the launch with generic tweets, saying the mission was the first of two planned by the agency this year.

Watch the launch live here.

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