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Marking the End of an Era, United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches Final Delta IV Heavy Rocket

Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla., (April 9, 2024) – The Delta program, spanning 60 years, came to a close with the launch of the final Delta IV Heavy rocket by United Launch Alliance (ULA) on April 9 at 12:53 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. The rocket, carrying the NROL-70 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office, marks the end of the Delta era and initiates the future of heavy lift on ULA’s next generation Vulcan rocket.

“Thank you to our teammates past and present for their dedication to these critical national security missions,” said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs. “The Delta IV Heavy rocket was a workhorse for the NRO, launching 12 missions delivering critical national security payloads. The NROL-70 mission marked our 35th successful launch with the NRO and we look forward to continuing our partnership launching future national security space missions.”

“The Delta rocket played a pivotal role in the evolution of space flight since the 1960s,” said Tory Bruno, ULA’s president and CEO. “This final Delta mission signals ULA’s evolution to the new Vulcan rocket, providing even higher performance than our three-core Delta IV Heavy rocket in a single-core rocket to launch heavy-class missions for the nation. We will continue to deliver our superior reliability and unprecedented orbital precision for all our customers across the national security, civil and commercial markets.”

ULA’s next launch is the Crew Flight Test (CFT) mission for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew program. The launch is planned for no earlier than May 6, 2024.

About United Launch Alliance

All rockets are not created equal. ULA is the nation’s most experienced, reliable and accurate launch service provider delivering unmatched value, a tireless drive to improve, and commitment to the extraordinary. Vulcan’s inaugural launch marked the beginning of a new era of space capabilities and provides higher performance and greater affordability while offering the world’s only high energy architecture rocket to deliver any payload, at any time, to any orbit.

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Duncan Idaho

Duncan is a science and technology reporter for CDN and serves as the lead geek correspondent. Follow him if you like rockets, mobile tech, video games or ... just about anything nerdy.

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