What to Know
- The launch of the three-engine Delta IV Heavy rocket was rescheduled for Thursday at 5:31 p.m. PST
- The United Launch Alliance mission was first scrubbed Dec. 8, just seconds before its scheduled liftoff due to a technical glitch
- The Delta IV Heavy rocket has three Rocketdyne engines that can produce 2.1 million pounds of thrust
Southern California residents were ready for an epic sunset rocket launch Wednesday evening, but the twice-delayed Delta IV Heavy rocket was yet again put on hold.
The launch of the three-engine Delta IV Heavy rocket was rescheduled for Dec. 30. The delay was due to "indications of elevated hydrogen concentrations."
It followed a Tuesday that was supposed to bring a holiday-season light show powered by four rocket launches, including one at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County.
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Instead, all four launches were scrubbed.
The United Launch Alliance launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base was called off Tuesday due to high winds. SpaceX, Blue Origin and Arianespace also had missions scrubbed.
The United Launch Alliance mission also was scrubbed Dec. 8 just seconds before its scheduled liftoff due to a technical glitch. An operational problem had caused a delay in the launch one day prior to that.
Rocket launches from Vandenberg, particularly those around sundown, have created spectacular light shows in the skies over Southern California and the southwestern United States. Depending on cloud cover, the rocket might be visible over a widespread part of the region, according to a statement Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Here the updated launch forecast for tomorrow night @ulalaunch Delta IV Heavy launch from Vandenberg.— David Biggar (@DavidNBCLA) December 19, 2018
Slightly better chance of seeing an illuminated contrail, but it will be pretty high up. pic.twitter.com/Gi7z3gPF5u
ULA has carried out 27 launches for the National Reconnaissance Office over the past 12 years. ULA is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing.
According to the company, the Delta IV Heavy rocket includes three Rocketdyne liquid hydrogen-liquid oxygen engines that can produce a combined 2.1 million pounds of thrust. A Delta IV Heavy rocket rumbled into the sky in August 2013 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, drawing spectators who wanted to witness its considerable power.