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Launch of Delta IV rocket with United States spy satellite postponed once again

13 January 2018

For the second time in as many days, the planned launch of a Delta IV rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Thursday was postponed for 24 hours.

United Launch Alliance (ULA) is planning to conduct its first launch of 2018 this afternoon with a spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office as its payload.

"We are ready and eager to take on this Delta launch", said Col. Greg Wood, 30th Space Wing vice commander, in a base news release. The weather forecast shows a 90-percent chance of favorable conditions for a Friday launch, according to ULA.

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Coverage of the launch Friday is scheduled to begin at 3:40 p.m. EST, 20 minutes before the launch window opens at 4 p.m. EST.

United Launch Alliance hopes the third time is the charm for their twice-delayed NROL-47 mission. Thursday's launch will be ULA's 27th for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. The government hasn't confirmed whether the top-secret satellite did indeed fall out of orbit and reenter Earth's atmosphere.

In the aftermath of the alleged failure, SpaceX claimed its rocket performed as expected, implying the blame for the Zuma mission lay elsewhere.

Launch of Delta IV rocket with United States spy satellite postponed once again