Rocket launch to carry spy satellites into space


The rocket, which sailed through a mostly clear sky over the Lompoc Valley, carried with it a secret payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

That Falcon 9 rocket launch delivered 10 satellites into low-Earth orbit for Iridium, a communications company.

The NROL-47 launch was scheduled for January 10th, but it was scrapped because of high ground winds. It is also the 27 launch for the NRO. As usual, no one knows what the NROL-47 satellite is all about and what its mission is.

The launch is carrying a classified spy satellite called NROL-47.

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The NRO is the U.S, Government agency in charge of designing, building, launching and maintaining America's fleet of intelligence satellites.

A Delta IV rocket, provided by United Launch Alliance, lifted off from VAFB's Space Launch Complex-6 just after 2:11 p.m. "Latest weather briefing shows an 80% chance of favorable weather".

With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation's most experienced and reliable launch service provider.

The Delta IV launch system is available in five configurations: the Delta IV Medium (Delta IV M), three variants of the Delta IV Medium-Plus (Delta IV M+), and the Delta IV Heavy (Delta IV H).

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Orbital ATK provided two 60-inch diameter Graphite Epoxy Motors (GEM 60) for the Delta IV rocket.

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

"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.

"We are proud to provide this national defence capability and every Team V member involved has tirelessly worked to ensure the launch is safe and successful".

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