ULA's Delta IV rocket successfully launches classified NROL-47 satellite into space

Pablo Tucker
January 13, 2018

On Thursday the secretive rocket was delayed for more than an hour - and then yet another hour.

The Delta IV rocket was built in Decatur, Alabama.

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

"We're counting down", ULA tweeted on Thursday morning.

There's an 80 percent chance of favorable weather for the Friday afternoon launch, United Launch Alliance said on Twitter.

The launch will be streamed live. ULA, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, is targeting a 1:55 p.m. PST/4:55 p.m. EST launch.

Mission NROL-47 is scheduled for Vandenberg's Space Launch Complex-6 near the Pacific Ocean, about 10 miles west of Lompoc and 140 miles west-northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Details such as hazard warnings issued to pilots and ships can reveal the satellite's likely orbital entry point. As usual, no one knows what the NROL-47 satellite is all about and what its mission is. The Zuma mission is speculated to be failed mission but what happened exactly is still unclear. The government hasn't confirmed whether the top-secret satellite did indeed fall out of orbit and reenter Earth's atmosphere.

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