Weather scrubs Delta IV Heavy launch carrying spy satellite

By Greg Pallone and Christina Jensen, Team Coverage
Last Updated: Thursday, June 09, 2016, 6:08 PM EDT

The liftoff of a Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying a spy satellite was scrubbed after the fourth delay because of poor weather conditions Thursday.

  • Delta IV Heavy is carrying spy satellite for National Reconnaissance Office
  • Launch has been rescheduled for 1:51 p.m. Saturday

The original launch time of 1:59 p.m. was pushed back to 2:55 p.m. then past 3, then finally to 5:58 p.m. At T-minus 1 minute, United Launch Alliance scrubbed the liftoff.

The new launch time is 1:51 p.m. Saturday.

The ULA rocket rolled out to the pad Thursday morning at Space Launch Complex 37 at the Air Force station. The spy satellite will be delivered to space for the National Reconnaissance Office, a secretive branch of the federal government that oversees spy satellites for several agencies.

Officials at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station earlier had said there was a 40 percent chance of good weather conditions for the launch of the Delta IV Heavy rocket.

Because of that, the mission’s purpose is classified due to national security concerns.

The Delta IV Heavy rocket stands at about 235 feet tall and weighs more than 1.5 million pounds when its fuel tanks are at maximum capacity.

“The long launch window enables us to have multiple attempts to launch the rocket and get the payload into space,” said Chris Vogel, a ULA mechanical engineer.

Live Blog Delta IV Heavy Rocket Launch LIVE Chat