Delta IV Heavy NROL-82 United Launch Alliance (ULA) Rocket Launch


United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy rocket serves the nation’s high-priority U.S. Space Force and National Reconnaissance Office space programs with distinction as America's proven heavy-lifter. The vehicle also launched NASA's Orion capsule on its first orbital test flight and sent the Parker Solar Probe on its journey to become the fastest robot in history while surfing through the sun's atmosphere.

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket will launch the NROL-82 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Liftoff will occur from Space Launch Complex-6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

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Space Launch Complex-6 (SLC-6), the West Coast home of the Delta IV rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, is a classic launch pad design with a Fixed Umbilical Tower and a Mobile Service Tower. The core stages of the rocket are assembled in the nearby Horizontal Integration Facility, then rolled to the pad for attachment of the payload, final testing and the countdown. The site also features a Mobile Assembly Shelter that provides full enclosure of the rocket from the weather during pre-launch preparations. The MST and the MAS are retracted to unveil the rocket prior liftoff.

SLC-6 was constructed by the U.S. Air Force in the 1960s for the Manned Orbiting Laboratory program and modified in the 1980s to be a West Coast launch site for the space shuttle. Both projects were cancelled before the site hosted a launch. It was used briefly in the 1990s for Lockheed Martin’s Athena rocket. The pad was rejuvenated in an extensive overhaul to support the Delta IV starting in 2000.