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/NBAA2014 10.22.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne/NBAA2014 10.22.14 **
** Airborne/NBAA2014 10.21.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne/NBAA2014 10.21.14 **
** Airborne/NBAA2014 10.20.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne/NBAA2014 10.20.14 **

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.

FMI: www.nro.gov

Advertisement

More News

Game-Changing NBAA2014 Sponsor Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics!

Innovation Brings Safe, Certified, Nanophosphate® Lithium Batteries To New Business Aircraft True Blue Power is the first company in the world to achieve FAA TSO and EASA ETSO >[...]

Airborne at NBAA--10.21.14: NBAA2014 Opens, Eclipse Update, FJ44 TBO Increase

Also: Shuster/Hart Address NBAA, Gogo Means Business, BBJ Maxes Out, Hartzell Pulls Its Weight The NBAA Opening General Session featured two well-known names from Washington. Repre>[...]

Airborne at NBAA--10.20.14: HondaJet, Honeywell Forecast, Gulfstream's G500/G600

Also: Garmin's ADS-B For BizAv, R44s For Jordan, Textron Aviation, Hartzell Props, Clarity Aloft Pro Plus At a news conference early Monday at the 2014 NBAA convention, HondaJet sa>[...]

Airborne at NBAA--10.21.14: NBAA2014 Opens, Eclipse Update, FJ44 TBO Increase

Also: Shuster/Hart Address NBAA, Gogo Means Business, BBJ Maxes Out, Hartzell Pulls Its Weight The NBAA Opening General Session featured two well-known names from Washington. Repre>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (10.22.14)

Airport Operators Association - U.K. Founded in 1934, the Airport Operators Association (AOA) is the national voice of UK airports.>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC