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ULA Delta IV Heavy launch finale delayed

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — After a delay Thursday due to high winds, the final launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket was scrubbed Friday due to mechanical issues.

The 16th and final launch of a Delta IV Heavy rocket launch was rescheduled for this afternoon from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

However, the mission was postponed Thursday night due to an issue with the gaseous nitrogen pipeline which provides pneumatic pressure to the launch vehicle systems, ULA said in a news release.

“The team continues to troubleshoot the pipeline and more time is needed to instill confidence in the system,” ULA said. “We will continue to work with our customer to confirm our next launch attempt and a new launch date will be provided upon resolution.”

The rocket was carrying a national security payload designed, built and operated by the National Reconnaissance Office.

The NRO is a Department of Defense organization responsible for developing, acquiring, launching and operating America’s reconnaissance satellites, as well as operating associated data processing facilities in support of national security.

Using NRO data, the National Security Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and other NRO mission partners produce intelligence products for the president, Congress, national policymakers, warfighters and civil users.

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