Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Science | By Hubert Green

Spy Satellite To Launch From California's Vandenberg AFB

Spy Satellite To Launch From California's Vandenberg AFB

The launch of a USA spy satellite looked good atop the fiery plume of a Delta IV rocket launched from the state of California's Vandenberg Air Force base, with officials hoping to avoid a repeat of Sunday's failed attempt to place another spy satellite in space, according to webcast by United Launch Alliance rocket company. As usual with classified launchings, no details were provided about the satellite payload or its intended orbit. The Delta IV medium rocket will carry a national security payload designed, built and operated by the NRO, the agency said.

Consuming almost 2,000 pounds of liquid propellant per second, the 220-foot-tall rocket rapidly accelerated as it climbed out of the thick lower atmosphere, discarding the strap-ons about one minute and 40 seconds after liftoff.

This is ULA's first launch in 2018 and the 124 successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.

The launch was delayed twice earlier this week.

With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation's most experienced and reliable launch service provider. Each configuration is comprised of a common booster core (CBC), a cryogenic upper stage and either a 4-m-diameter or 5-m-diameter payload fairing (PLF).

The Graphite Epoxy Motors (GEM 60) used on the Delta IV family of rockets measure some 53-feet (16 meters) in length.

The Delta IV rocket was built in Decatur, Alabama. These have been used on the Delta IV since its initial flight in 2002.

The launch of the new classified reconnaissance satellite has been much anticipated - as it has been delayed several times.

While his academic studies have ranged from psychology and archaeology to biology, he has never lost his passion for space exploration.

Like this: