The powerful Delta IV Heavy rocket blasted off from California Monday afternoon sending a satellite into orbit for the National Reconnaissance Office.
The United Launch Alliance rocket launched from Space Launch Complex-6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base at 4:47 p.m. ET.
The satellite known as NROL-82 will support the NRO’s national security mission.
🚀LIFTOFF of the United Launch Alliance #DeltaIVHeavy rocket with the #NROL82 mission for the @NatReconOfc! pic.twitter.com/mT5kWbgcne— ULA (@ulalaunch) April 26, 2021
The Delta IV Heavy is a sight to see at 233 feet tall and with three core stages. It’s top-secret payload is inside a 63-foot-long nose cone.
ULA plans to retire the mega rocket later this year. The private company is inching closer to launching its new rocket, the Vulcan Centaur, from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station later this year.
Monday’s liftoff is the first launch of the year from California and for ULA.