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One of the World’s Most Powerful Rockets Awaits Liftoff From Florida

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. — Mission crews are preparing to launch two rockets from Florida in just over two hours — one of which is one of the world’s most powerful rockets and hasn’t launched in over two years.

What You Need To Know

  • Delta IV Heavy launch scheduled for just after midnight Tuesday 
  • Rocket carrying spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office
  • Less than 24 hours later, Falcon 9 set to blast off from Kennedy Space Center
  • See the launch schedule here

The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket, carrying a spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office, was originally supposed to lift off over the weekend from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

But launch officials said more time was needed to test and evaluate the swing arm retraction system for the mission, dubbed NROL-44.

A second attempt was scheduled for 12:02 a.m. EDT early Tuesday morning from Space Launch Complex 37 but was called off less than six hours before due to poor weather conditions at the launch site.

ULA set a third launch attempt for the Delta IV Heavy for 11:59 p.m. EDT Tuesday — which is just two hours after the scheduled launch of a a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center. That rocket, carrying a GPS satellite for the U.S. Space Force, is scheduled for 9:55 p.m. EDT Tuesday.

Another Falcon 9 launch that was supposed to blast off Monday morning with 60 Starlink satellites for SpaceX was pushed back due to poor weather conditions. A new date and time has not been announced.

The last Delta IV Heavy rocket to launch was more than two years ago, back in August 2018.

Stay with Spectrum News for live coverage of these launches.

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