02:22 GMT04 June 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket is slated to send the newest US spy satellite into orbit from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Saturday, the National Reconnaissance Office announced in a press release.

    "Weather forecasters from the Air Force’s 30th Weather Squadron predict a 70 percent chance of favorable conditions for launch.The only concern for a launch weather rule violation will be winds", the release stated on Friday. 

    United Launch Alliance will provide a live webcast of Saturday’s countdown and the 11:05 a.m. launch (22:05 GMT), ending the broadcast when the rocket jettisons the payload fairing about 6 minutes after liftoff, the release said.

    The launch of the Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle with a US military reconnaissance satellite was previously called off seven seconds before launch on 8 December without explanations.

    READ MORE: North Korean, Iranian Missiles Remain a Significant Concern for US — Pentagon

    The US Defense Department has recently unveiled a new plan (MDR) to strengthen and expand country's missile defense capabilities on land, sea and in space amid fears of sparking an alleged nuclear crisis with Russia and China.

    US Vice President Mike Pence reminded at the press conference on thursday that the US president has taken decisive action to extend US dominance on land, at sea, in air, and in cyberspace.

    The Vice President reminded the audience that Trump has called for the establishment of a sixth branch the US Armed Forces to ensure American dominance in space.

    According to the document, the United States will explore space-based interceptors as a means of engaging with offensive missiles in their boost phase in order to boost its missile defense capabilities. The new review also pushes for developing a layer of space-based sensors that will enhance US capabilities to detect and track more complex missile threats.

    READ MORE: Pentagon 'Organising AI for Combat' to Deal With Complex Threat Environment

    The Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday that the US Missile Defense Review leads to the revival of the Reagan-era Star Wars program at a higher technological level.

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    Tags:
    spy satellite, launch, US National Reconnaissance Office, United States
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