Update, Tuesday, 12:30 p.m.:
The launch has been scrapped for Tuesday due to high winds, and is now scheduled to take place Wednesday. For more information, check out our new story here: https://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/article223269215.html.
Officials gave the Delta IV Heavy rocket a “unanimous go” for its launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Tuesday.
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After conducting a Launch Readiness Review on Monday, officials said the United Launch Alliance (ULA) rocket will be ready to launch Tuesday at about 5:57 p.m.
The rocket will launch a top-secret payload — a National Reconnaissance Office spacecraft — into orbit for a mission dubbed NROL-71, according to previous Tribune reports.
“We are proud to launch this critical payload in support of our nation’s national security mission,” ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs Gary Wentz said in a news release. “As the nation’s premiere launch provider, the teams have worked diligently to ensure continued mission success, delivering our customer’s payloads to the precise orbits requested.”
The team tried twice to launch the rocket earlier this month, both times were foiled by technical glitches.
Air Force weather forecasters predict a 20 percent chance of favorable conditions for liftoff on Tuesday, according to the latest release. The only concern for a launch weather rule violation will be winds.
You can watch the live countdown and launch on ULA’s website starting at 9 a.m.