Watch ULA Begin 2018 With a Spy Satellite Launch

14 January, 2018, 00:33 | Author: Yolanda Murray
  • Rocket Launched Successfully on Friday title

This will be ULA's first launch of 2018, and the 27th launch for the US National Reconnaissance Office, which operates a host of satellites used for intelligence gathering and surveillance. Also, the Friday's mission marked the 36th flight of ULA's Delta IV rocket.

"This was an incredibly important launch for the 30th Space Wing and our mission partners", Wood said. "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". "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". NROL-47 is NRO's 50th launch since 1996.

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That Falcon 9 rocket launch delivered 10 satellites into low-Earth orbit for Iridium, a communications company. NROL-47 will join the Future Imagery Architecture (FIA) satellite constellation, which flies under the code name Topaz. Back in December 2017, Spaceflight Now's Stephen Clark had informed that "5, 2" variant Delta IV rocket had previously flown twice- in 2012 and 2016- and carried Topaz radar reconnaissance satellites into orbit.

Consuming almost 2,000 pounds of liquid propellant per second, the 220-foot-tall rocket rapidly accelerated as it climbed out of the thick lower atmosphere, discarding the strap-ons about one minute and 40 seconds after liftoff. The forecast shows a 90 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch.

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The U.S. Department of Defense was set to launch a new spy satellite Thursday from California.

Founded in 2006, ULA is a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin. It is part of a mission for the National Reconnaissance Office.

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There are three variants of Delta IV M+ configuration. The Delta IV M+(5,2) and Delta IV M+(5,4) have two and four SRMs, respectively, and 5-m-diameter PLF.

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