NRO L-44 mission is launched successfully by upgraded Delta IV Heavy

by | Dec 11, 2020 | Launches, Military space, Satellites

The NRO L-44 (ORION 10) spacecraft of the US National Reconnaissance Office, was finally launched by an upgraded Delta IV Heavy rocket at 0109 GMT on 11 December 2020.  The launch, operated by the United Launch Alliance (ULA) took place from Pad 37B at Cape Canaveral, Florida.  The spacecraft is likely to be being carried all the way to GTO by the upper stage. It is thought to be an Orion class SIGINT (Signals Intelligence) satellite. The launch has been delayed several times during the past couple of months with the causes including weather, technical faults to the rocket and ground systems, and even by a launch abort on 1 October.

Three RS-68A engines (one on core, one on each booster) ignite for Delta IV Heavy launch of NRO L-44. Courtesy: ULA

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