The 60-year Delta rocket programme ended on 9 April with the final launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. The rocket, carrying the NROL-70 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office, marks the end of the Delta era and initiates the future of heavy lift on ULA’s next generation Vulcan rocket.

“Thank you to our teammates past and present for their dedication to these critical national security missions,” said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programmes. “The Delta IV Heavy rocket was a workhorse for the NRO, launching 12 missions delivering critical national security payloads. The NROL-70 mission marked our 35th successful launch with the NRO and we look forward to continuing our partnership launching future national security space missions.”

“The Delta rocket played a pivotal role in the evolution of space flight since the 1960s,” said Tory Bruno, ULA’s president and CEO. “This final Delta mission signals ULA’s evolution to the new Vulcan rocket, providing even higher performance than our three-core Delta IV Heavy rocket in a single-core rocket to launch heavy-class missions for the nation. We will continue to deliver our superior reliability and unprecedented orbital precision for all our customers across the national security, civil and commercial markets.”

ULA’s next launch is the Crew Flight Test (CFT) mission for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew program. The launch is planned for no earlier than May 6, 2024.

Vulcan’s inaugural launch in January 2024 promises a new era of space capabilities, with higher performance and greater affordability.
Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter

You may also be interested in

ULA’s Vulcan rocket nears inaugural launch

NASA science heads to Moon on ULA’s Vulcan rocket

Hughes JUPITER 3 satellite arrives at Cape Canaveral for launch