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Technical setback delays launch of final Delta IV Heavy
The final Delta IV Heavy being readied for launch on Thursday. Photo by C&J Images.
Technical setback delays launch of final Delta IV Heavy
by Staff Writers
Space Coast FL (SPX) Mar 29, 2024

Launch of the final Delta IV Heavy has been delayed until further notice. An issue with a liquid pump in the gaseous nitrogen pipeline, crucial for providing pneumatic pressure to the launch vehicle's systems, led to the postponement.

The anomaly prompted a meticulous troubleshooting process by the United Launch Alliance (ULA) team. Work to diagnose and rectify the issue is underway to ensure the launch vehicle's integrity before scheduling a new launch attempt. The team is in close collaboration with the National Reconnaissance Office to secure a revised launch date, which will be announced following a comprehensive review and resolution of the technical difficulties.

Originally slated for March 28, 2024, at 1:40 PM EDT from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, this launch was to mark the conclusion of the Delta Rocket program's distinguished service. Since its inaugural flight on May 13, 1960, during Dwight Eisenhower's presidency, the Delta Rocket has achieved 388 launches. Evolving significantly over the decades, its initial variant stood at 90 feet with a mass of 112,000 lbs, culminating in the Delta IV Heavy's impressive stature of 235 feet and a mass of 1.6 million lbs.

The Delta Rocket's legacy is rich with pioneering achievements, including the deployment of the first Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites, missions to Mars and Mercury, and the launch of groundbreaking scientific probes like the MESSENGER Orbiter to Eros, the Dawn spacecraft to Vesta and Ceres, and the Genesis mission, which returned comet dust samples. It also played a vital role in launching the Kepler observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope, in addition to facilitating the first Eutelsat commercial satellite launch and delivering the Air Force's first Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle.

As the Delta Rocket lineage concludes, its successor, the Vulcan rocket, emerges. The Vulcan is designed to integrate and advance the technological achievements of both the Delta and Atlas rocket families.

Related Links
Delta IV Heavy - NROL-70
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com

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Scrubbed: End of an Era: Final Delta IV Heavy Rocket Carries NROL-70 on Historic Mission
Space Coast FL (SPX) Mar 28, 2024
The last mission of the venerable Delta IV Heavy rocket, marked by the launch of the NROL-70 security payload, is scheduled for March 28, 2024, at 1:40 PM EDT from SLC 37, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. This event not only signifies the conclusion of the Delta Rocket lineage but also celebrates its rich history of achievements and innovations in space exploration. The Delta Rocket series, since its inception on May 13, 1960, during Dwight Eisenhower's presidency, has been a cornerstone of Ame ... read more

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