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ULA Launching U.S. Spy Satellite Thursday Morning From Cape Canaveral

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket is raised vertically at the Space Launch Complex-37 pad on Nov. 15, 2019 in preparation to launch the NROL-44 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office in 2020. Photo: United Launch Alliance

A classified U.S. spy satellite is set to launch Thursday from Cape Canaveral in the early morning hours. A four-hour launch window opens at 2:12 a.m. EST and weather remains favorable.

United Launch Alliance’s Delta Four Heavy rocket is sending the spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office into orbit, launching from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Not much is publicly known about the satellite. The NRO operates a fleet of space-based spy satellites, providing data to the U-S- intelligence community.

ULA’s Delta IV Heavy is capable of launching massive payloads into space. Previously, it launched the first of NASA’s Orion capsules and the Parker Solar Probe on a mission to explore the sun.

The launch is part of a busy week on the Space Coast with two SpaceX launches scheduled over the next few days, including the first polar launch from Florida since 1969.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to ... Read Full Bio »