Successful NRO/ULA NRO-61 Launch Bolsters Secret Relay

A ULA Atlas-V 421 rocket launching the classified NRO-61 satellite from Cape Canaveral, FL July 28, 2016. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

A ULA Atlas-V 421 rocket launching the classified NRO-61 satellite from Cape Canaveral, Fla., July 28, 2016. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

The successful launch today of the 11,000-lb National Reconnaissance Office NRO 61 geosynchronous orbit, real-time relay spacecraft has given the U.S. a major new capability to speedily forward high-resolution imagery and […]

Top-Secret NRO-61 Relay Set for Liftoff Thursday as MUOS-5 Finally Climbing to Orbit

An Atlas-V 421 rocket, carrying the NROL-61 payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), is transported from the Vertical Integration Facility to the launch pad at Space Launch Complex-41 for a Thursday morning launch attempt. Photo Credit: ULA

An Atlas-V 421 rocket, carrying the NROL-61 payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), is transported from the Vertical Integration Facility to the launch pad at Space Launch Complex-41 for a Thursday morning launch attempt. Photo Credit: ULA

Two major military space and intelligence operations vital to U.S. national security and future combat operations […]

PHOTOS: MUOS-5 Moving Into Position After Blazing Atlas-V Launch

The NAVY's 7.5 ton MUOS-5 satellite thunders out of Launch Complex-41 June 24, 2016, flying atop ULA's most powerful Atlas-V rocket, the 551. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

The NAVY’s 7.5-ton MUOS-5 satellite thunders out of Launch Complex-41 June 24, 2016, flying atop ULA’s most powerful Atlas-V rocket, the 551. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

The fifth and final 7.5-ton Lockheed Martin/NAVY Mobile User Objective System satellite (MUOS-5) is headed toward geosynchronous orbit following a spectacularly thunderous launch on June 24 […]

Atlas-V Returns with MUOS-5 June 24, Senate Says No More Russian Engines by 2022

Each Atlas V is powered by a single oxygen/kerosene Russian RD-180 with two engine nozzles. By 2019 ULA hopes to instead power the launcher with two BE-4 methane/oxygen engines. Photo Credit: NASA / ULA

ULA’s workhorse booster has been grounded since an engine anomaly occurred on the OA-6 launch, but it is now cleared to return to flight, starting with MUOS-5 as soon as June 24, 2016. Photo Credit: Alan Walters/AmericaSpace

 

 

 

Being grounded for the last several months due to an investigation into an […]

Spectacular Delta-IV Heavy Lofts Secret NRO 37 Eavesdropper

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta-IV Heavy booster lofting a classified multi-billion dollar NRO satellite from Cape Canaveral AFS Launch Complex-37B on June 11, 2016. Photo Credit: John Kraus / AmericaSpace

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta-IV Heavy booster lofting a classified multi-billion dollar NRO satellite from Cape Canaveral AFS Launch Complex-37B on June 11, 2016. Photo Credit: John Kraus / AmericaSpace

America’s critical intelligence capabilities in geostationary orbit have been doubled with the apparently successful flight of a multi-billion-dollar secret Advanced Orion/Mentor eavesdropping satellite […]

Mammoth Eavesdropping Satellite Set for Launch Atop Delta-IV Heavy

Armed and with his identity protected this swordsman guards the American Flag
Behind a shield marked 37
in Roman numerals. Image Credit: NRO

Armed and with his identity protected, this swordsman guards the American Flagbehind a shield marked 37 in Roman numerals. Image Credit: NRO

UPDATE: NRO-37 will attempt to launch again on Saturday at 1:51pm EDT. The first launch attempt June 9 was scrubbed due to weather violations.

Story published originally June 8: The biggest […]

New Improved Antares Preparing for Test Fire Ahead of July 6 Return to Flight

Orbital ATK’s Antares first stage with the new engines is rolled from NASA Wallops Flight Facility’s Horizontal Integration Facility to Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A on May 12, 2016, in preparation for the upcoming stage test in the next few weeks. The team will continue to work meticulously as they begin final integration and check outs on the pad and several readiness reviews prior to the test. The window for the stage test will be over multiple days to ensure technical and weather conditions are acceptable. Photo Credit: NASA/Allison Stancil

Orbital ATK’s Antares first stage with the new engines is rolled from NASA Wallops Flight Facility’s Horizontal Integration Facility to Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A on May 12, 2016, in preparation for the upcoming stage test in the next few weeks. The team will continue to work meticulously as they begin final integration […]

Last Soyuz TMA-M Crew Ready for Friday Launch to Space Station

The Soyuz TMA-20M crew, from left, consists of U.S. astronaut Jeff Williams and Russian cosmonauts Alexei Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka. Photo Credit: NASA

The highly reliable Soyuz-FG has been used to launch every piloted Soyuz mission to the International Space Station (ISS) since October 2002. Photo Credit: NASA

For the second time in less than a year, a NASA astronaut will soon set a new record for the longest cumulative time spent in space by an American […]

Next Cygnus Cargo Ship 'SS Rick Husband' Ready for March 22 Night Launch to Space Station

The Orbital ATK Cygnus resupply ship "S.S. Rick Husband", packed with 7,700 pounds of supplies, hardware and experiments, undergoing final processing in the KSC clean room March 8, ahead of its scheduled launch to the ISS atop a ULA Atlas-V booster from nearby Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 41 on the night of March 22. Photo Credit: Talia Landman / AmericaSpace

The Orbital ATK Cygnus resupply ship “S.S. Rick Husband,” packed with 7,700 pounds of supplies, hardware, and experiments, undergoing final processing in the KSC clean room March 8, ahead of its scheduled launch to the ISS atop a ULA Atlas-V booster from nearby Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 41 on the night of March 22. […]

Air Force Funds Both AR1 and BE-4 Rocket Engine Development to Replace ULA's Russian RD-180

BE-4 methane engine components undergo  hot fire test at the Bezos west Texas test site. Photo Credit Blue Origin

BE-4 methane engine components undergo hot-fire test at the Bezos West Texas test site. Photo Credit: Blue Origin

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) decision to continue funding both the Aerojet Rocketdyne AR1 and the Blue Origin BE-4 engines will end United Launch Alliance (ULA) dependance on the Russian RD-180 for the Atlas-V rocket and […]