ULA Resets Delta IV Heavy Launch for Dec. 18

The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket launches NASA’s Parker Solar Probe to touch the Sun, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, from Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. (Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls) (ULA PR)

Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Dec. 13, 2018– A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy carrying the NROL-71 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office is set to launch on Tuesday, Dec. 18. The mission will lift off on a Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle from Space Launch Complex-6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The launch time is 5:57 p.m. PST.

The launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy carrying the NROL-71 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office was scrubbed on Dec. 7 due to an issue with a redundant communication link between the control center and the launch site.

  • duheagle

    A lot of ULA’s recent launch delays have been caused by ground support equipment of one kind or another playing up inconveniently. Perhaps the staff cuts of recent times have lead to fewer or no full-timers being present to do pad maintenance between often infrequent launches, especially at Vandy. Could be that certain features of their pad designs assumed more regular maintenance done by bigger full-time staffs than ULA can now afford. ULA cannot go back to having large full-time staffs at infrequently used facilities and its launch cadence is unlikely to be taking any sudden upward jump, so maybe this is its new normal.