A Delta IV Heavy is set to launch from Vandenberg on Thursday at 1:08 p.m. PST (4:08 p.m. EST; 2108 GMT) : /– Delta Launch Report | Mission Status Center – Spaceflight Now /– Delta Launch Report | Delta 4-Heavy ready to serve nation from West Coast pad – Spaceflight Now /– Vandenberg and rocket launch: Vandenberg to launch its tallest rocket – latimes.com
This will be the fifth launch for the Delta IV Heavy since 2004 and the first from Vandenberg. == Despite the low launch rate for the Delta IV Heady, which can put 22,560 kg (49,740 lb) into LEO, Congress has ordered NASA to build a new vehicle that can put at least 70 tons (140,000 lb, Congress is apparently using English units) into LEO. It’s payload capacity should eventually be increased to nearly twice that much.
Here is an earlier video tutorial from Rand Simberg on the “rationale” for a new heavy lift vehicle. === Wayne Hale wishes NASA could stick with a rocket project until it is completed: Space Architecture – Wayne Hale’s Blog.
That may be great for NASA as an institution but if the rocket eats up enormous amounts of funding, takes many years to complete, is extremely expensive to operate, and has no payloads because all the money went for the rocket, then maybe getting the right architecture now is worth a big debate.