NRO Satellite Launches From Vandenburg | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date






Airborne On ANN

Airborne 10.24.16

Airborne 10.25.16

Airborne 10.19.16

Airborne 10.20.16

Airborne 10.21.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 10.24.16

Airborne 10.25.16

Airborne 10.19.16

Airborne 10.20.16

Airborne 10.21.16

Thu, Mar 13, 2008

NRO Satellite Launches From Vandenburg

Hopefully, They Won't Have To Shoot This One Down

An Atlas 5 rocket carrying a classified National Reconnaissance Office satellite lifted off successfully in the wee hours of Thursday morning.

The Associated Press reports the booster launched from California's Vandenburg AFB at 0302 PDT. United Launch Alliance spokesman Mike Rein said only "it went great," but added he couldn't say whether the satellite reached orbit "because of the nature of the launch."

No details of the mission were available.

In the worst-case scenario, at least, the launch may provide Defense Department planners with another opportunity to test their missile defense system. As ANN reported, on February 21 a missile fired from a Navy warship struck a malfunctioning NRO satellite that apparently went dark shortly after its December 2006 launch.

Officials told the public they were concerned parts of the bus-sized satellite would possibly fall on inhabited areas if allowed to reenter Earth's atmosphere on its own... including a nearly-full tank of hydrazine, a highly toxic propellant used in the satellite's maneuvering thrusters. Military leaders also expressed misgivings about the possibility the technology onboard the reconnaissance satellite -- in particular, a top-secret imaging camera -- could have fallen into hostile hands.

US authorities took steps to placate leaders in China and Russia ahead of, and immediately after, the launch... stating the shootdown was primarily a humanitarian gesture, and not an overt military action. Days after the successful operation, however, Defense Secretary Robert Gates pointedly noted the firing was a missile defense test.

Thursday's launch was the first firing of an Atlas V booster from the West Coast. All previous Atlas V launches by ULA have occurred in Florida.



More News

Airborne 10.24.16: Obnoxious NIMBY Report, Scorpion Jet, AMA Remote Pilot Test

Also: Schiaparelli Probe, Spirit Of Aviation, Bell 429, Commuter Craft, Master Pilot Award, Predator B, Space Debris A new study released by the Mercatus Center at George Mason Uni>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (10.25.16)

Santa Moncia City Council Candidates Sound Of On FAA Battle Recently, the Santa Monica Lookout sent a series of questions to candidates for City Council, one of which dealt with th>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (10.25.16): Dead Reckoning

Dead reckoning, as applied to flying, is the navigation of an airplane solely by means of computations based on airspeed, course, heading, wind direction, and speed, groundspeed, a>[...]

Aero-News: Quote of the Day (10.25.16)

“The GIV and G450 ushered in a business aviation renaissance that has led to increased safety, greater reliability, better technology and improved performance. It’s fit>[...]

ANN FAQ: Feel The Propwash (Updated)

New Form Makes Subscribing, Unsubscribing Even Easier While we're very proud of our newly-redesigned website, we know that some folks really enjoy the convenience of having their A>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus





© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC