ULA set for second attempt at spy satellite launch

Delta IV Rocket Launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base called off Thursday

The classified spy satellite is owned by the National Reconnaissance Office or NRO, which is one of the most secretive government departments in the United States. The government hasn't confirmed whether the top-secret satellite did indeed fall out of orbit and reenter Earth's atmosphere. The rocket launched a national security payload, designated NROL-47, for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) in support of a national defense mission.

The rocket was originally scheduled to lift-off on Wednesday, but high winds forced ULA to delay the mission. The company has already carried out 26 launches for NRO. NROL-47 will join the Future Imagery Architecture (FIA) satellite constellation, which flies under the code name Topaz. Will Crawford, ULA's NRO program manager, said, "As the nation's most trustworthy launch provider, today's launch exemplifies ULA's ongoing commitment to 100 percent mission success". Orbital ATK produced the solid rocket motors at its facilities in Magna and Clearfield, Utah, where it has manufactured GEM-60s for the Delta IV launch vehicle since the initial flight in 2002. As per Space.com, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which builds and manages the spy satellites of the USA, will operate the new classified NROL-47 satellite. "My honest thanks to the entire ULA team and our mission partners at the NRO and U.S. Air Force who made this, our 27th NRO launch, possible". The main engine of the Delta IV is the RS-68A, manufactured by Aerojet Rocketdyne.

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The recent launch of the Delta 4 rocket into orbit came days after SpaceX's launch of another secretive satellite codenamed Zuma. "The forecast shows a 90% chance of favourable weather conditions for launch".

It marked the 27th NRO launch by United Launch Alliance, which is a Colorado-based aerospace partnership between Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

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The launch will happen at Space Launch Complex-6, which sits about 140 miles west of downtown Los Angeles.

Sunday's launch was SpaceX's third classified mission.

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She added: "Things can be, 'You know what, you're a drop of water, and then you re-enter the ocean.' Anyway, I really love you all".

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