Delta IV Rocket Launch Today

A Delta IV rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex-6 just after 2:11 p.m. PDT from Vandenberg Air Force Base Calif. on Friday Jan. 12 2018

Watch a Delta IV rocket launch a secret satellite to space

This will be ULA's first launch of 2018, and the 27th launch for the US National Reconnaissance Office, which operates a host of satellites used for intelligence gathering and surveillance.

Live coverage of the highly classified flight ended when the satellite payload separated from the rocket, less than four minutes after liftoff.

However, we can make a few inferences.

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But the speculation about NROL-47 is just that, and Molczan says the satellite could be something else entirely because analysis of launch safety notices indicates the payload may be bound for a different orbit than the one used by earlier FIA radar satellites.

The Delta IV carrying NROL-47 rises into the California sky on January 12, 2018.

There are three variants of Delta IV M+ configuration. Orbital ATK's contributions to the Delta IV include cutting-edge technologies from across the company, including two Graphite Epoxy Motors (GEM 60), large composite structures and the propellant tank and nozzle for the main engine. It was also the 36 flight of the Delta IV rocket since its inaugural launch in 2002. After staging, an Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10B-2 granted some 24,750 pounds of thrust, sending the Delta IV's upper stage to orbit.

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Yesterday, weather and other technical issues forced a delay. "Aerojet Rocketdyne employees across the country work hard to ensure 100 percent mission success, and our role in yet another launch for the National Reconnaissance Office demonstrates the trust and confidence in our propulsion". ULA, a partnership between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, also builds Atlas 5 rockets, which flew six times past year.

"This was an incredibly important launch for the 30th Space Wing and our mission partners", Wood said.

Jim resides in the San Francisco Bay area and has attended NASA Socials for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover landing and the NASA LADEE lunar orbiter launch.

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