The Air Force expects a replacement for the Delta 4 Heavy rocket will be ready by 2023, with one of several vehicles under development able to take its place.
The Delta 4 carrying the Wideband Global Satcom 9 satellite lifted off at 8:18 EDT.
The launch was scheduled for March 8, carrying WGS-9, the Air Force’s next Wideband Global Satcom satellite.
A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket carrying two space surveillance satellites for the U.S. Air Force lifted off early this morning from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Friday's briefing starts with United Launch Alliance delaying until Saturday the launch of a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office
Fourteen members of Congress from California ask the Defense Department to examine the company's decisions to retire its Delta 4 rocket and to drop Aerojet Rocketdyne as its solid-rocket booster provider.
The United States, Russia and Japan conducted separate, successful satellite launches March 25 during an unplanned seven-hour triple header.
That launch, valued at $389 million, will also use a Star-48 upper-stage motor provided by Orbital ATK.