Sonntag, 24. September 2017 - 10:00 Uhr
Atlas V to Launch NROL-42
- Rocket: Atlas V 541
- Mission: NROL-42
- Launch Date: Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017
- Launch Time: 10:38 p.m. PDT
- Live Broadcast: Stay tuned for how you can watch live
- Launch Location: Space Launch Complex 3, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
Launch Notes: This launch will be ULA’s sixth of 2017 and 121st overall. NROL-42 will be the 25th mission that ULA has launched for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) since the company was founded in 2006. This mission will mark the 73rd Atlas V launch since its inaugural launch on Aug. 21, 2002.
Atlas V Rocket Launch Rescheduled at Vandenberg AFB After Delay Due to Hurricane Irma
After being delayed by Hurricane Irma, an Atlas V rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base has a new launch date.
Liftoff of the United Launch Alliance booster is now planned for Sept. 21 from Space Launch Complex-3 on South Base.
The launch window remains classified for the mission dubbed NROL-42 since the rocket will carrying payload for the National Reconnaissance Office.
The targeted launch time is 10:38 p.m., but the launch window does not extend beyond 11:30 p.m. based upon the notice to mariners warning boaters to remain away from the ocean off South Base.
ULA officials announced Sept. 8 that the mission was delayed a week to allow ULA crews temporarily working at Vandenberg to return home before Hurricane Irma, brewing in the Atlantic Ocean at the time, was set to hit Florida.
Following Atlas, at least two launches are planned from Vandenberg in October.
At 6:06 a.m. Oct. 4, a Space Exploration Technologies Falcon 9 rocket is set to lift another 10 Iridium Next satellites into orbit amid a push to replace the constellation of craft that allow communications anywhere on the globe.
Additionally, Orbital ATK plans to conduct a Minotaur C launch of 10 commercial Earth-imaging spacecraft at 2:37 p.m. Oct. 17 from Vandenberg.
Planet’s six SkySat and four Dove spacecraft have all been designed and manufactured in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Payload: CLASSIFIED NATIONAL SECURITY PAYLOAD
NRO satellite in Molniya orbit
Collects signals intelligence
Launch Date: Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017
Launch Time: 10:38 p.m. local
1:38 a.m. EDT on Sept. 22
0538 GMT on Sept. 22
Launch Period: Four hours
7:25-11:35 p.m. local
0225-0635 GMT on Sept. 22
Launch Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
Space Launch Complex 3-East
Customer: National Reconnaissance Office
Launch Enterprise Directorate, Air Force's
Space and Missile Systems Center
Provider: United Launch Alliance, Centennial, Colorado
Launch Vehicle: Atlas 5 designated AV-072
Weight at liftoff: 1.2 million pounds
Thrust at liftoff: 2.4 million pounds
Height: 197 feet (60 m)
Common Core Booster with RD-180 engine
73,800 gallons RP-1 kerosene and liquid oxygen
Thrust: 860,300 pounds
Four side-mounted solid-fuel rocket boosters
World's largest monolithic SRB
Thrust: 380,000 pounds each
Centaur upper stage with RL10C-1 engine
16,450 gallons liquid hydrogen and oxygen
Thrust: 23,300 pounds
5-meter Short Fairing
18-foot-dia., 68-foot-tall composite shroud
Construction: Atlas stage and Centaur upper stage built by
United Launch Alliance in Decatur, Alabama
Fairing manufactured by RUAG Space in Zurich
RD-180 from NPO Energomash, Khimki, Russia
SRBs by Aerojet Rocketdyne, Sacramento, Calif.
RL10C-1 from Aerojet Rocketdyne, West Palm
Payload Speculation: NROL-42 is believed to be the second spacecraft
in the newest generation of Molniya-orbit
signals intelligence satellites
unofficially called Trumpet Follow-On.
The highly-inclined orbit enables the craft
to dwell over northern latitudes to collect
The fourth Space Based Infrared System-HEO
missile-warning senor package is hosted
aboard the NROL-42 satellite.
The target orbit is roughly 1,000 by 24,000
miles at an inclination of 63 degrees.
About the NRO: Headquartered in Chantilly, Virginia, the
National Reconnaissance Office develops
and operates overhead reconnaissance
systems and conducts intelligence-related
activities for U.S. national Security.
NRO Uses: The NRO is the nation's eyes and ears in
space, supporting policy makers, the Armed
Services, the Intelligence Community,
Departments of State, Justice and
Treasury, and civil agencies. All of them
depend on the unique capabilities NRO
NRO Capabilities: - Monitoring the proliferation of weapons of
- Tracking international terrorists, drug
traffickers, and criminal organizations
- Developing highly accurate military
targeting data and bomb damage assessments
- Supporting international peacekeeping and
humanitarian relief operations
- Assessing the impact of natural disasters,
such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and
NRO Constellations: Exquisite-class electro-optical and
geosynchronous and Molniya-orbit
eavesdropping platforms, ocean
surveillance network and data-relay
Atlas V Rocket Launch On Track For Clandestine Mission from Vandenberg AFB
National Reconnaissance Office Payload will head to orbit aboard United Launch Alliance booster
With the spacecraft safely tucked in the Atlas V rocket’s payload fairing, a truck transports the cargo to Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base to be place atop the rocket. (United Launch Alliance photo)