Vandenberg AFB Rocket Launch of US Spy Satellite Scheduled for Friday

  • Vandenberg AFB Rocket Launch of US Spy Satellite Scheduled for Friday

Vandenberg AFB Rocket Launch of US Spy Satellite Scheduled for Friday

The NROL-47 launch was scheduled for January 10th, but it was scrapped because of high ground winds.

As the Delta 4 rocket was nearing orbit, the United Launch Alliance ended its coverage and the rest of the flight was carried out under the radar. "The forecast shows a 90% chance of favourable 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.

Manchester based company Starchaser has successfully launched a research rocket and now aims to rocket tourists into space by 2022.

While details about the payload are classified, groups of amateur satellite trackers can use clues to narrow down the nature of the satellite, including its likely orbit and technology.

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

Col. Greg Wood, 30th Space Wing vice commander, was the launch commander. The rocket is a "5, 2" variant and it featured a 5-meter-wide (16.5 feet) payload fairing, as reported by Space.com.

The GEM 60s provided additional thrust to the lone Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68A engine located in the Delta IV's first stage. These have been used on the Delta IV since its initial flight in 2002. After staging, an Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10B-2 granted some 24,750 pounds of thrust, sending the Delta IV's upper stage to orbit.

Thursday's delays were due to an issue with a ground system valve, according to ULA, which had also earlier reported issues with swing arms, which connect parts of the rocket to the launchpad and typically move away from the vehicle between ignition and liftoff.

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. "This will be the first of two launches scheduled for NRO in 2018".