The launch of a USA spy satellite looked good atop the fiery plume of a Delta IV rocket launched from the state of California's Vandenberg Air Force base, with officials hoping to avoid a repeat of Sunday's failed attempt to place another spy satellite in space, according to webcast by United Launch Alliance rocket company.
Vandenberg's 4th Space Launch Squadron is in final preparations for the launch with a group of mission partners from both ULA and the NRO, which is the USA government's agency in charge of designing, building, launching and maintaining America's intelligence satellites. The mission was dubbed NROL-47.
However, we can make a few inferences. However, this was not the only variable thrown at the launch team with an issue with a ground system valve forcing mission managers to call a scrub for the Thursday, Jan. 11 launch attempt (s) as well.
Additionally, Orbital ATK manufactured the propellant tank for the Delta IV upper stage roll control system at the company's Commerce, California, facility, and designed and manufactured the nozzle for the Delta IV's RS-68A engine at its Promontory, Utah, facility. The NRO publicized the launch with generic tweets, saying the mission was the first of two planned by the agency this year.
The Graphite Epoxy Motors (GEM 60) used on the Delta IV family of rockets measure some 53-feet (16 meters) in length.
The blastoff and initial phases of the rocket's flight were a success. It will be updated once ULA announces new launch time.
Col. Greg Wood, the 30th Space Wing vice commander, will serve as the space launch commander. Jim began blogging about science, science fiction and futurism in 2004.