ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 26 (UPI) -- The launch of a spy satellite for the U.S. Department of Defense from Florida was postponed again Saturday because of a problem with the retractable support arm on the launch pad.
The Delta IV Heavy rocket's owner, United Launch Alliance, said it now is targeting no earlier than early Monday morning for the mission.
United Launch Alliance had planned to send the satellite into space Sunday at 12:10 a.m. EDT Sunday, nearly a month's following a launch abort Aug. 29 only three seconds before liftoff.
The abort occurred amid a fireball on the launch pad from hydrogen venting, but the company said no damage occurred to the pad or the rocket.
ULA said it replaced three devices on the launch pad's ground systems that regulate the pressure of helium flowing into the rocket. Helium is used to pressurize the propellant, or fuel, chambers of the rocket.
The Delta Heavy has three boosters and a collective 2.2 million pounds of thrust. By comparison, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, the most powerful of today's rockets, emits 3.4 million pounds of thrust at liftoff.
The spy satellite mission, called NROL-44, is to be launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Complex 37B. This would be the 12th of a Delta IV Heavy, first used in 2004.
The National Reconnaissance Office, the agency that oversees the launch, is part of the Defense Department. According to its mission statement, it is responsible for developing, launching and operating America's reconnaissance satellites, along with data-processing facilities.
That data is used by the National Security Agency and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to produce photos, maps, reports and other tools for the president, Congress, national policymakers, warfighters and others.