space

The USA Launches 4 Spy Satellites into Orbit. It is not clear what to do there

By  | 

NROL-129 mission for the US National Reconnaissance Office of the Minotaur, a Northrop Grumman carrying the trajectory IV, 15 July hours Turkey time 16: 46 (1346 GMT), the Mid-Atlantic Regional Space from Force Base in Virginia (MARS) was launched.

NRO develops countries’ spy satellite fleets and is often used for undercover business. That’s why we don’t know exactly what the NROL-129 spacecraft will do there, or even what the final orbital positions will be.

“The NROL-129 supports the NRO’s overall national security mission to provide intelligence data to senior US politicians, the intelligence community, and the Department of Defense,” the mission press kit said. He writes.

Minotaur IV is 24 meters high and consists of four stages. The lower three stages are powered by solid rocket engines of decommissioned Peacekeeper intercontinental ballistic missiles. In the fourth stage, Northrop Grumman has the Orion 38 engine.

Minotaur IV was presented in April 2010. It performed a total of 7 flights, two of which were suborbital flights, all of which were successful.

MARS (space base) is located on Wallops Island in Virginia, adjacent to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, which operated MARS until 2003. Today, the space base is operated by the Commercial Space Flight Authority of Virginia, with the support of NASA Wallops.

The NROL-129 is the first private launch from NRO’s MARS-Wallops complex, as well as the site’s first mission jointly hosted with the US Space Force, which was officially created in December 2019.

Space and Missile Systems Center provided launch service for NROL-129.