Science

Rocket launch scheduled over Tucson

Rocket launch scheduled over Tucson

The U.S. Department of Defense was set to launch a new spy satellite Thursday from California.

Five days after a presumed spy satellite was lost following launch from Florida, another clandestine satellite, this one owned by the National Reconnaissance Office, was boosted into space Friday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The rocket, which sailed through a mostly clear sky over the Lompoc Valley, carried with it a secret payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

The office is in charge of designing, building, launching and maintaining USA intelligence satellites.

A Delta IV rocket soared away from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Friday afternoon, en route to delivering its clandestine cargo into space.

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 flight marked the first of 2018 for ULA. The booster and upper stage engines are both built by Aerojet Rocketdyne.




Thursday morning's weather report from the 30th Space Wing showed an 80 percent chance of favorable conditions, a considerable improvement over the previous day's 40 percent.

The blastoff and initial phases of the rocket's flight were a success.

"We are proud to provide this national defence capability and every Team V member involved has tirelessly worked to ensure the launch is safe and successful".

For more information on ULA, visit the ULA website at www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321). As a young Star Trek fan he participated in the letter-writing campaign which resulted in the space shuttle prototype being named Enterprise.


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