Orbital ATK Technologies Support Today's ULA Delta IV Launch
Orbital ATK Technologies Support Today's ULA Delta IV Launch
Video ULA Successfully Launches NROL-47 Mission
14 January, 2018, 00:32
The secretive mission will be ULA's 27th for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) - the agency in charge of the United States fleet of spy satellites.
The top secret NRO missions are generally classified - so it is unclear what specifically the satellite will be doing on its orbit around earth.
This afternoon, the United Launch Alliance is set to launch a classified spy satellite on one of its Delta IV rockets from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
It was initially scheduled to launch on January 10 and later January 11, but was delayed twice due to weather conditions and technical issues. NROL-47 will join the Future Imagery Architecture (FIA) satellite constellation, which flies under the code name Topaz.
"This was an incredibly important launch for the 30th Space Wing and our mission partners", Wood said. It is part of a mission for the National Reconnaissance Office.
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NROL-47 marks United Launch Alliance's 27th launch for the federal National Reconnaissance Office, and the 36th flight for a Delta IV rocket since the first in 2002, according to the company's website.
The recent launch of the Delta 4 rocket into orbit came days after SpaceX's launch of another secretive satellite codenamed Zuma. "My honest thanks to the entire ULA team and our mission partners at the NRO and U.S. Air Force who made this, our 27th NRO launch, possible".
Founded in 2006, ULA is a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The Delta IV M+(4,2) uses two strap-on solid rocket motors (SRMs - GEM-60 boosters provided by Orbital ATK) to augment the first-stage CBC and a 4-m diameter PLF.
The launch was delayed twice earlier this week. The commercially developed EELV program supports the full range of government mission requirements, while delivering on schedule and providing significant cost savings over the legacy launch systems. "We are proud to provide this national defense capability, and every Team V member involved has tirelessly worked to ensure the launch is safe and successful".
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