Friday, March 11, 2011

Delta IV being fueled for launch

Fueling of a Delta IV rocket has begun in preparation for a planned 5:57 p.m. blastoff today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The first of about 110,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen began pumping into the United Launch Alliance rocket's first stage at about 12:30 p.m., with liquid oxygen to follow. An upper stage will be filled with the same propellants.

The 21-story rocket aims to send a classified National Reconnaissance Office payload into orbit from Launch Complex 37. Today's launch window extends to 7 p.m.

An already excellent weather forecast has improved, with a 95 percent chance of favorable weather.

Join us for live countdown coverage starting at 2 p.m. And click here to sign up for test message alerts updating the countdown's status.

IMAGE: Early this morning, a United Launch Alliance Delta IV sat poised on its launch pad with a National Reconnaissance Office payload at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex-37. Photo by Pat Corkery, ULA.

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