Look for Delta-4 Heavy rocket to launch today from Cape

On micro-blogging site Twitter, he announced that there're small chances of launch on that day. ULA also has a June 24 launch scheduled for one its Atlas V rocket scheduled. The satellite, one of the largest in the world will provide surveillance for the NSA and Central Intelligence Agency. Currently, ULA's Delta IV Heavy rocket is the world's most powerful rocket.

A live feed of the launch was cut after about six minutes to maintain the payload's secrecy, but sources told CBS the rocket may have carried a powerful surveillance satellite named Mentor, which can pick up electronic signals from ships and aircraft.

If there is no launch Saturday, ULA and the Air Force have not said when a third launch attempt would be made, but weather is expected to improve Sunday and Monday. So far, fueling of a Delta IV Heavy rocket with super-cold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen has started at Launch Complex 37.

A clandestine satellite built for the notoriously secretive National Reconnaissance Office is slated to be launched on Thursday atop the most powerful rocket available, the United Launch Alliance Delta-4 Heavy.

Firing engines from three boosters strapped together, the heavy-lift rocket rumbled from its Launch Complex 37 pad with more than 2 million pounds of thrust, rising into low, puffy clouds that obscured the relatively rare sight from view for many early on in the flight.

Given that NROL-37 is a highly classified mission run by the US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the agency that oversees America's fleet of spy satellites, few details about its specs and directives have been released.

This Delta IV event is being publicized which is unique for the NRO which refers to itself as "America's eyes and ears in space", who doesn't usually disclose the information from their current missions.

Competition from other private rocket companies like SpaceX will drive ULA to develop bigger and better crafts - like its own Vulcan - and lead to the retirement of the Delta IV Heavy. The flight was originally scheduled for 1:59 pm ET, but was delayed due to poor weather. He saw his first in-person launch on July 8, 2011 when the space shuttle launched for the final time.

  • Gina Adkins