When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works.

ULA's Delta IV Heavy took off for the very last time, see it here - TWIRL #160

The TWIRL logo in front of a Delta IV Heavy

We have several missions coming up next week, but what is really interesting in this installment of This Week in Rocket Launches is the recap section, where you’ll find a video of the last ever United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy launching. That rocket has been blasting off for the last 20 years, with the first launch taking place in 2004. It’ll be a shame to see it go because it always delivers an impressive launch.

Monday, 15 April

  • Who: CNSA
  • What: Long March 2D
  • When: 4:10 a.m. UTC
  • Where: Jiuquan, China
  • Why: This rocket will be carrying an unknown payload, indicating that it could be a classified satellite.

Wednesday, 17 April

  • Who: SpaceX
  • What: Falcon 9
  • When: 6:30 p.m. UTC
  • Where: California, US
  • Why: A SpaceX Falcon 9 will launch Maxar Technologies’ first two WorldView Legion Earth observation satellites. Eventually, there will be six commercial WorldView Legion satellites in a mix of sun-synchronous and mid-inclination satellites performing high-resolution remote sensing activities.

  • Who: SpaceX
  • What: Falcon 9
  • When: 9:24 p.m. UTC
  • Where: Florida, US
  • Why: SpaceX will launch 23 Starlink satellites atop a Falcon 9 rocket to a low Earth orbit. This batch of satellites is designated Starlink Group 6-51, and you use this identifier on apps like ISS Detector to watch them when they pass over your house. These satellites will join the Starlink constellation and beam internet back down to customers on Earth.


  • The first launch we got last week was a SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying Starlink satellites. The first stage landed back on Earth for reuse.
  • Next up was another Falcon 9, but this time, it was a rideshare mission carrying lots of satellites for different entities. It was called Bandwagon-1.
  • On April 9, United Launch Alliance (ULA) launched its last Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying the NROL-70 mission from Florida, US. The mission was launched for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). It’s definitely an impressive rocket to see take off, so make sure to watch this video. For those who were wondering, this rocket has been operating since 2004.
  • Next up was another Falcon 9 carrying more Starlink satellites. Like clockwork, the first stage performed a landing ready for reuse.
  • On April 11, we witnessed the fourth test launch of the Angara-A5 heavy-lift launch vehicle with the Orion upper stage. This was also the first time that an Angara-A5 took off from the new Vostochny Cosmodrome.
  • Next up, on this very busy week, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 carrying the USSF-62 mission, which saw the first USSF Weather System Follow-on-Microwave (WSF-M) satellite get launched. The first stage of the rocket landed for reuse.
  • Finally, SpaceX launched another Falcon 9 carrying Starlink satellites to a low Earth orbit. Just like all the other Falcon 9 missions, the first stage was landed for further reuse.

That’s it for this week; check in next time.

Report a problem with article
A Microsoft Weekly banner
Next Article

Microsoft Weekly: too many ads in Windows 11, Windows 10, and Edge

The AMD logo
Previous Article

AMD Ryzen 9000 (Zen 5) launch not too far as chipset driver, firmware support lands

Join the conversation!

Login or Sign Up to read and post a comment.

0 Comments - Add comment