ULA set for second attempt at spy satellite launch

14 January, 2018, 00:32 | Author: Grady King
  • Watch a Delta IV rocket launch a secret satellite to space

The NROL-47 satellite from the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) was originally meant to launch Wednesday but high winds forced a delay, according to launch provider United Launch Alliance (ULA),.

Founded in 2006, ULA is a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The forecast shows a 90 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch. As per Space.com, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which builds and manages the spy satellites of the US, will operate the new classified NROL-47 satellite. "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".

Due to the mission's classified nature, little is known about the NROL-47 payload, but it is believed to be radar reconnaissance satellite, operating from a retrograde orbit inclined 123 degrees. He also thanked the entire ULA team as well as the mission partners at the NRO and also the U.S. Airforce for making the 27th NRO launch a successful one.

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The launch will happen at Space Launch Complex-6, which sits about 140 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. The Delta IV M+(5,2) and Delta IV M+(5,4) have two and four SRMs, respectively, and 5-m-diameter PLF.

"We are ready and eager to take on this Delta launch", Col. Greg Wood, launch commander and vice commander of the Air Force's 30th Space Wing, said in a statement earlier this week.

The GEM 60s provided additional thrust to the lone Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68A engine located in the Delta IV's first stage.

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A ground system helium problem caused blastoff to be delayed by more than hour.

This was the 36th flight of a ULA Delta 4 rocket and the first since last March.

The EELV program was established by the U.S. Air Force to provide assured access to space for Department of Defense and other government payloads.

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