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

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 09.26.16

Airborne 09.27.16

Airborne 09.28.16

Airborne 09.22.16

Airborne 09.23.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 09.26.16

Airborne 09.27.16

Airborne 09.28.16

Airborne 09.22.16

Airborne 09.23.16

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.

FMI: www.nro.gov

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 09.26.16: SpaceX Accident Details, Bell V-247 'Vigilant', Blues Cancel

Also: Tracey Curtis-Taylor, RC Saab Gripen, Kodiak, Airbus Subsidies, Worcester Reg'l Airport, MedEvac Foundation, Predator-Series As promised, SpaceX is starting to reveal details>[...]

NBAA Mourns Arnold Palmer's Passing

Dedicates 2016 Convention To Golf Legend, Aviation Champion National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen Monday reflected with sadness on the passing Su>[...]

FAA Dedicates New Tucson Control Tower

New Tower Replaces Previous Facility Which Had Stood For 58 Years FAA Administrator Michael Huerta on Friday joined federal and local officials in dedicating the new, environmental>[...]

Airborne 09.23.16: GA Pilot Sues SFO, Drone Legalities, EAA Hall Of Fame

Also: Zenith Open Hangar Days, KSMO Nonsense, Recalled Devices, Piper M600, 800th TBM, NASAO, Commercial Space The pilot of the last piston airplane based at San Francisco Internat>[...]

Airborne 09.26.16: SpaceX Accident Details, Bell V-247 'Vigilant', Blues Cancel

Also: Tracey Curtis-Taylor, RC Saab Gripen, Kodiak, Airbus Subsidies, Worcester Reg'l Airport, MedEvac Foundation, Predator-Series As promised, SpaceX is starting to reveal details>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

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