Delta 4 rocket rolls out to launch pad

The United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket that will deploy the U.S. military's fourth Wideband Global SATCOM communications spacecraft into orbit in January was transported from the Horizontal Integration Facility to the launch pad at Cape Canaveral's Complex 37 on the afternoon of Monday, October 10.

A 36-wheel, diesel-powered transporter moved the 170-foot-long rocket the short trip down the road and up the pad's ramp to begin preparations for the WGS 4 mission.

Initial assembly of the rocket, including mating of the cryogenic upper stage with the Common Booster Core first stage using a precision laser alignment system, was completed in the Horizontal Integration Facility. Technicians will finish putting the vehicle together at the launch pad by installing the four strap-on solid rocket boosters and attaching the satellite payload.

When completed, this Delta 4 Medium+ (5,4) rocket will tower 217 feet tall for its January 19 launch that continues the Air Force's efforts to upgrade the military's main communications infrastructure.

This 3-page gallery of photographs captures the rollout event.

Photo credit: Justin Ray/Spaceflight Now


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