VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE (CBSLA) – A rocket carrying a U.S. spy satellite, which was scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc Tuesday night, has been delayed for a third time due to high winds.
The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying a satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office was set to launch at 5:57 p.m. Tuesday. It has been rescheduled for 5:44 p.m. Wednesday.
When it finally happens, it will likely draw thousands of viewers across Southern California hoping for a light show in the evening skies.
The launch was scrubbed on Dec. 8, just 7.5 seconds before its scheduled liftoff due to a technical glitch. An operational problem had caused a delay in the launch one day prior to that, on Dec. 7.
ULA is a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing. According to the company, the Delta IV Heavy rocket includes three Rocketdyne liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engines that can produce a combined 2.1 million pounds of thrust.
ULA has carried out 27 launches for the National Reconnaissance Office over the past 12 years. In September, ULA launched its 155th and final Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg, carrying a $1 billion NASA satellite into orbit.
On Tuesday morning, Elon Musk’s Hawthorne-based SpaceX postponed the launch of a U.S. Air Force GPS satellite from Cape Canaveral in Florida after an order to abort was triggered by the flight computer onboard the Falcon 9 rocket that was to have been used for the launch.
Musk will be hoping for better luck Tuesday night, however, when he unveils his new underground test tunnel at SpaceX headquarters, designed to alleviate traffic issues in Los Angeles.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)