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Atlas V Rocket Launches New US Spy Satellite tv for pc on Secret Mission

The USA has launched its second secret spy satellite tv for pc in lower than three weeks.


The NROL-52 satellite tv for pc soared into orbit this morning (Oct. 15) atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket, which lifted off at three:28 a.m. EDT (0728 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Power Station in Florida.The launch got here after greater than per week of delays as a result of climate and a suspect telemetry transmitter that had to get replaced.


An Atlas 5 additionally offered the experience for the NROL-42 reconnaissance satellite tv for pc, which launched on Sept. 24 from California’s Vandenberg Air Power Base. [The Most Dangerous Space Weapons Ever] 


Each NROL-42 and NROL-52 have been constructed by the U.S. Nationwide Reconnaissance Workplace (NRO), which operates the nation’s fleet of spy satellites. NRO missions are usually categorised, so it is unclear what precisely NROL-52 shall be taking a look at because it zips round Earth in its undisclosed orbit.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket launches the NROL-52 spy satellite tv for pc into orbit from Area Launch Complicated 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Power Station in Florida on Oct. 15, 2017.

Credit score: United Launch Alliance/Jeff Spotts


In the present day’s launch — which was delayed two days by unhealthy climate, after which by one other week to exchange a telemetry transmitter on the rocket  — was the 26th that ULA has offered for the NRO, and the 74th flight for the Atlas V total. All of those missions have been profitable thus far.


“In the present day’s launch is a testomony to the tireless dedication of the ULA workforce, demonstrating why ULA continues to function our nation’s most reliable and profitable launch supplier,”Laura Maginnis, ULA vice chairman of Authorities Satellite tv for pc Launch, mentioned in an announcement after the launch. “After recovering from Hurricane Irma that got here by means of the world final month, and the final week’s climate challenges, the workforce discovered the precise alternative at present to ship this vital nationwide asset to orbit.”


The liftoff was a part of a busy week in spaceflight. For instance, on Monday (Oct. 9), a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from California’s Vandenberg Air Power Base, carrying 10 communications satellites to orbit for the corporate Iridium.


Additionally in motion Monday have been Japan’s H-2A rocket and China’s Lengthy March 2D booster, which lofted a Japanese navigation satellite tv for pc and a remote-sensing satellite tv for pc for the Venezuelan authorities, respectively. 


Then, on Wednesday (Oct. 11), SpaceX launched the SES 11/EchoStar 105 communications satellite tv for pc from NASA’s Kennedy Area Middle, which is subsequent to Cape Canaveral Air Power Station. That liftoff concerned a Falcon 9 rocket with a pre-flown first stage.


Each Falcon 9 missions additionally featured profitable touchdowns by the rocket’s first stage. Touchdown after which re-flying rockets (and spacecraft) is a key a part of SpaceX’s plan to assist colonize Mars, the up to date model of which firm founder and CEO Elon Musk unveiled late final month at a convention in Australia.


Comply with Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Comply with us @Spacedotcom, Fb or Google+. Initially revealed on Area.com.

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