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How to watch the final launch of ULA’s mighty Delta IV Heavy rocket

April 9 LIVE Broadcast: Delta IV Heavy NROL-70

United Launch Alliance (ULA) is about to fly its mighty Delta IV Heavy rocket for the last time.

The mission will get underway from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, on Tuesday, April 9, with liftoff scheduled for 12:53 p.m. ET.

For its 16th and final flight, ULA’s Delta IV Heavy rocket will launch the NROL-70 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), deploying an intelligence satellite into a geostationary orbit.

ULA released a short video this week showing all of the various stages of the upcoming mission, from rocket engine ignition to the release of the satellite by the rocket’s final stage.

Watch a preview video of what you can expect during the #DeltaIVHeavy rocket's final flight. At the request of our customer, live coverage of the #NROL70 mission will conclude after payload fairing jettison approximately seven minutes into flight. #TheDeltaFinale

— ULA (@ulalaunch) March 25, 2024

Tuesday’s historic flight will bring to a close six decades of service by the reliable family of rockets that Colorado-based ULA recently described as “the dependable Delta.”

The Delta IV Heavy, which first flew in 2004, has three boosters that make it bear some resemblance to SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, which flies using three Falcon 9 boosters.

ULA has been a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin since 2006. The company shuttered its Delta assembly line in Alabama in June 2023 after producing the 389th and final Delta rocket. The Delta IV Heavy and another ULA rocket — the Atlas V — are being replaced by ULA’s Vulcan Centaur rocket. The Vulcan took its maiden flight from the Kennedy Space Center in January.

How to watch

ULA is targeting Tuesday, April 9, at  12:53 p.m. for the last-ever launch of the Delta IV Heavy rocket.

You can watch the mission on the video player at the top of this page or by visiting ULA’s YouTube channel, which will carry the same feed. The broadcast will begin 30 minutes before launch, at 12:23 p.m.ET. With three boosters powering the vehicle to orbit, the launch promises to be an exciting spectacle for rocket fans everywhere.

Be sure to check ULA’s social media feed between now and the targeted launch time in case of any last-minute adjustments to the schedule.

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Trevor Mogg
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