Delta IV Heavy’s 5th to last launch with ULA’s 2020 finale

Space Coast, FL – On December 10, 2020 at 8:09pm EST, United Launch Alliance lifted off their Delta IV Heavy from SLC-37B at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL, USA. The rocket carried NROL-44 for the National Reconnaissance Office. To date ULA has launched 142 times with 100 percent mission success.

Delta IV Heavy with sunset on the Space Coast
Delta IV Heavy hours prior to launch during a Space Coast sunset | photo: Jon Van Horne

Delta IV Heavy

This was a long wait since the Delta IV Heavy was rolled out to the pad over 1 year ago. ULA experienced a few aborts and issues with ground systems as well. Which led to 4 scrubs from August to September. However additional maintenance was required and teams preformed thoroughly to the ground systems’ issues resulting in the successful launch.

Delta IV Heavy Lifts off on the NROL-44 mission
Go Delta, Go NROL-44, Lift Off | photo: Jon Van Horne

This now makes the 41st launch of the Delta IV rocket, the 12th in the Heavy configuration and ULA’s 30th launch with the NRO (National Reconnaissance Office). What a great finish to close out ULA’s 2020 year. The next launch for ULA is the STP-3 mission for the U.S. Space Force. It is scheduled for first quarter 2021 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, USA.

Delta IV Heavy soars through the night sky.
Delta IV Heavy soars through the night sky to deliver it’s payload to orbit. | photo: Jon Van Horne

FUN FACT: ULA’s CEO, Tory Bruno, always post a single tweet after a confirmed successful launch and deployment with a number. That number is the total amount of successful launches by ULA.

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