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ULA bids farewell to Delta IV Heavy rocket with final flight



ULA Delta IV Heavy

On Tuesday, April 9, 2024, at 12:53 p.m. EDT, United Launch Alliance (ULA) launched the final Delta IV Heavy rocket and bid farewell to this space program spanning 60 years.

ULA conducted this launch from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. The rocket was carrying an NROL-70 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office.

The launch comes after a scrub that prevented the company from flying the rocket on an earlier date in March. However, the internal issues have been resolved and the launch vehicle achieved flight.

ULA Delta IV Heavy

United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy Rocket Lifting off from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida (Image Credit: ULA)

The rocket company will now launch missions with the next-generation Vulcan rocket. The company is targeting a crew flight test (CFT) mission for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft under NASA’s commercial crew program. The launch of this test flight is planned no earlier than May 6, 2024.

After the liftoff, the Delta IV Heavy was consuming 5,000 pounds of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen per second. It went to weigh only half of the weight compared to liftoff. Soon after, ULA confirmed booster separation followed by a second-stage cutoff.


“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.”


Mel Trivalo is a senior author at, he began his early career in electronics in 2021 and turned his attention towards Space and Rocket Science. Mel likes to explore new technologies and swings baseball to run through creative thoughts.

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