Spaceflight Insider

NROL-44 slips to Saturday, weather remains 80% go

The Orion capsule flies for the first time aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket during NASA’s December 2014’s EFT-1 mission, as viewed from the historic LC-34 complex. As we celebrate today’s successes, may we remain mindful of the sacrifices made to get here. Photo Credit: Sean Costello / SpaceFlight Insider

A Delta IV Heavy rocket, the largest variant in the United Launch Alliance Delta IV family, was photographed from Space Launch Complex (SLC) 34 carrying NASA’s Orion capsule skyward during NASA’s 2014 EFT-1 mission. A similar Delta IV Heavy, equipped with the top-secret NROL-44 payload, is on the pad at SLC 37B and is scheduled to fly early in the morning, August 29. Photo Credit: Sean Costello / SpaceFlight Insider

The launch of the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy NROL-44 mission is now set for Sat., Aug. 29.

Launch Mission Execution Forecast for NROL-44, as issued by 45th Space Wing. Credit: USAF / 45th Space Wing

Noting that additional time is needed for their team to validate the appropriate path forward with the ground pneumatics control system, ULA updated the launch time, which will take place from Space Launch Complex 37B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The Saturday morning launch time is 2:04 a.m. EDT, with the 45th Space Wing weather forecast currently indicating an 80 percent chance of favorable conditions for launch.

Of note, “For MST Roll Friday evening, scattered showers and thunderstorms capable of producing strong wind gusts are expected. These storms are expected to dissipate late in the evening, but lingering cloud cover from this activity will bring a small chance for a Thick Cloud Layer Rule violation during the launch window early Saturday morning”.




Sean Costello is a technology professional who also researches, writes about and speaks publicly on the inspiring lessons within international space flight program. Prior to joining SpaceFlight Insider in early 2014, Costello was a freelance photographer and correspondent covering shuttle-era Kennedy Space Center launches for various radio and print news organizations.

Reader Comments

Is this a variant that has no SRB’s.

Correct, there are no SRBs on the Delta IV Heavy.

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