Classified payload launches into space

The United Launch Alliance successfully launched a classified payload into orbit for the National Reconnaissance Office using the Delta IV Heavy rocket, reported AmericaSpace. The rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. on Aug 28.

"The ULA Delta IV Heavy is currently the world's largest rocket, providing the nation with reliable, proven, heavy lift capability for our country's national security payloads from both the East and West Coasts," said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president of Atlas and Delta Programs in a statement after the launch.

As a launch vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy can place up to 50,000 pounds of payload into low-Earth orbit, 29,000 pounds into geostationary transfer orbit, and 14,000 pounds directly into geostationary orbit, which is more than 22,300 miles above Earth.

The ULA and Defense Department remain silent on the exact nature of the payload now in orbit.

Defense Systems Update

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