NROL-44 Lifts off after multiple delays.
On a cold winter night, after months of delays and a multitude of repairs to the ground support equipment, United Launch Alliance's (ULA) Delta IV Heavy launched off its pad after being there for over a year. It lofted one of the National Reconnaissance Office's satllites, simply designated NROL-44 due to its secrecy.
Originally scheduled to launch in August of 2020, it suffered an anomaly just after engine ignition, which forced an abort and and a scrub until the issue could be resolved. One month later, it attempted to fly again, but this time it aborted just before engine ignition, leading to the realization that there are significant repairs to be done at Space Launch Complex-37 that were not found when repairing it originally, leading to and indefinite scrub, until all the ground support equipment can be looked over.
They officially fixed everything that needed to be fixed, such as as the swing arms, and tested them, giving a launch date of the10th on December 4th.
The night of the 10th, weather was a 100% go (something not witnessed in the space coast in some time) and after a small delay due to it taking longer than expected to prepare and roll the Mobile Service Tower, at 8:09 pm, all three RS-68 engines were powered up and the massive Delta IV Heavy lifted off into the Florida skies, marking the final flight for ULA for the year 2020.
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