CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — As if November 3 was not busy enough, United Launch Alliance is sending a “top secret” payload into space for the National Reconnaissance Office.
ULA’s Atlas V rocket is set to launch the NROL-101 mission from Cape Canaveral’s Complex-41 at 5:58 p.m. EST Election Day.
As of October 31, the mission was given a “go” during a Launch Readiness Review. The weather currently shows 90% favorable conditions for launch day.
The NRO is responsible for launching and operating reconnaissance satellites that collect data and produce intelligence for the president, Congress, and national policymakers among others.
“ULA is proud to play a pivotal role in support of our mission partners and national security by keeping our country safe one launch at a time,” said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs.
“We thank our mission partners for their continued trust and teamwork. The NROL-101 mission will be ULA’s 29th mission launched for the National Reconnaissance Office and the 17th NRO mission launched on an Atlas V.”
Tuesday’s launch will also be the first time a ULA launch has flown on new Grumman Graphite Epoxy Motors, or solid rocket boosters that burn solid propellant and add to the lifting capacity.
ULA was formed in 2006 in a joint venture between Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Boeing Defense, Space & Security. Since then it has sent 140 launches into space.
Leadership from ULA, @NatReconOfc and @SpaceForceDOD held the Launch Readiness Review for the #NROL101 mission today and gave a unanimous “go” to continue preparations for the #AtlasV liftoff Tuesday at 5:58pmEST (2258 UTC). Read more: https://t.co/M91ugJaYds pic.twitter.com/dLO85OoBSX
United Launch Alliance
World news – US – ULA to launch ‘top secret’ National Reconnaissance Office payload on Election Day