Atlas V Successfully Launches Classified NROL-39 Payload Into Orbit for National Reconnaissance Office

Powered by its single RD-180 engine, the Atlas V 501 soars aloft from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on 5 December 2013, carrying the NROL-13 payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. Photo Credit: Robert C. Fisher/AmericaSpace

Cloaked in secrecy and shrouded by the hours of darkness, United Launch Alliance (ULA) has successfully launched a […]

ULA Prepares for Fifth Atlas V 501 Mission to Deliver Classified NROL-39 Payload to Orbit

Like February’s flight of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM), the NROL-39 payload will be launched atop an Atlas V in its “501” configuration. Photo Credit: ULA / Pat Corkery

For only the fifth time in its history, United Launch Alliance (ULA) is primed to fly an Atlas V in its “501” configuration Thursday, […]