Air Force, ULA teams launch Delta IV Heavy

NROL-37 launches aboard a Delta IV Heavy from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, June 11.

NROL-37 launches aboard a Delta IV Heavy from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, June 11.

NROL-37 launches aboard a Delta IV Heavy from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, June 11.

NROL-37 launches aboard a Delta IV Heavy from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, June 11.

NROL-37 launches aboard a Delta IV Heavy from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, June 11.

NROL-37 launches aboard a Delta IV Heavy from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, June 11.

NROL-37 launches aboard a Delta IV from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, June 11.

NROL-37 launches aboard a Delta IV from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, June 11.

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

The Air Force, National Reconnaissance Office, United Launch Alliance and their mission partners successfully launched a ULA Delta IV Heavy lift vehicle with an NRO national security payload from Space Launch Complex-37B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, today at 1:51 p.m. EDT.

“The Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle provides critical spacelift capability to support the Department of Defense as well as other National Security missions. This successful launch is a culmination of team work among a group of professionals who have a stellar launch record," said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Space and Missile Systems Center commander and Air Force program executive officer for Space. “Congratulations to the NROL-37 integrated team and all mission partners on a successful launch.”

The Delta IV Heavy is America’s biggest unmanned rocket currently in service, capable of lofting the largest and heftiest cargos for the nation. The Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle is also part of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program managed by SMC on behalf of the Department of Defense.

“The Delta IV has flown 10 times for the NRO, six of which were Heavy launches.” Greaves added. “Since 1961, the history of cooperation and partnership between SMC and NRO have been unwavering, assuring mission success and access to space for the benefit of our nation’s security.”

This marks the 26th Delta IV launched from Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida.

SMC is the U.S. Air Force's center for acquiring and developing military space systems. Its portfolio includes GPS, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, space-based infrared systems and space situational awareness capabilities.