Both SpaceX and Blue Origin were forced to postpone launches that had been scheduled to take place Tuesday, December 18 due to weather and other delays. Both companies say they will look at moving their launches to Wednesday, December 19.
SpaceX said an abort order was triggered by the flight computer onboard the Falcon 9 rocket. Paired with an earlier delay due to upper-level winds, the slowdown pushed the rocket past its launch window, according to The Verge.
Blue Origin said its launch was scrubbed due to what the company calls a “ground infrastructure issue.” Blue Origin said the rocket remains ready.
ULA’s Delta IV Heavy is currently the only rocket still scheduled to fly at 5:57 P.M, although it also went through two delays.
The rocket will launch a top-secret payload–a National Reconnaissance Office spacecraft–into orbit for a mission dubbed NROL-71, according to The Tribune.
“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 premier launch provider, the teams have worked diligently to ensure continued mission success, delivering our customer’s payloads to the precise orbits requested.”
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 NBC.
Now, clear skies and northwest winds at 10 to 15 mph are forecast for the launch site.
Delta IV Heavy Rocket Launch Live Stream
Date: Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Time: 5:57 P.M. PST (Live commentary will begin at 5:37 P.M. PST)
Location: Space Launch Complex 6, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
Live Stream: Check out ULA’s website for the Live countdown and launch