"Plus 60 seconds into this US national security launch of NROL-82 from the West Coast. Delta IV Heavy is traveling over 1,000 mph (miles per hour) already," Mission Control at B Vandenberg announced after the lift-off on Monday.
The Delta IV heavy rocket launched off the pad on schedule the power of three RS-68A main engines generating 2.1 million pounds of thrust. The vehicle hit Mach 1 and surpassed the region of maximum air pressure by T+plus 90 seconds, ULA said.
The outer boosters separated about four minutes into flight, followed by staging and ignition of the second stage two minutes later, ULA added.
There go the side boosters. pic.twitter.com/pOWdYXFZm2— Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) April 26, 2021
Despite the successful launch, it still became a source of memes for some Twitter users.
I love the Delta IV Heavy, but that flame curling up the side of the rocket freaks me out every time. pic.twitter.com/Gd18PocCxF— Christian Davenport (@wapodavenport) April 26, 2021