january, 2018

12jan21:00Delta IV • NROL-47

Event Details

Launch Date: January 12, 2018
Launch Window: 21:00-01:00 UTC
Launch Vehicle: Delta IV M+(5,2)
Launch Operator: United Launch Alliance
Launch Site: SLC-6 Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
Payload: NROL-47
Payload Operator: U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)


A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket will launch the classified NROL-47 payload for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office, operator of all American intelligence-gathering satellites and their support assets. The launch vehicle and launch site indicate NROL-47 will join the Future Imagery Architecture, flying under the code name Topaz as a radar reconnaissance satellite operating from an unusual retrograde orbit inclined 123 degrees. This will be the last flight of the Delta IV M+(5,2) version with two Solid Rocket Boosters and a five-meter second stage & payload fairing as United Launch Alliance begins to retire the single-stick Delta IV versions.


Delayed from December 2017:

(Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Dec. 6, 2017) The ULA Delta IV rocket carrying the NROL-47 payload for the National Reconnaissance Office is delayed in order to perform additional validation of the software and systems associated with Common Avionics. Common Avionics is a newly designed suite of avionics, flight software and ground systems that will fly on both Atlas V and Delta IV. This upgraded command and control system was designed to reduce cost and improve reliability. NROL-47 will be the first flight of the Common Avionics system on Delta IV. The vehicle and spacecraft remain stable. Launch of the NROL-47 mission is scheduled for no earlier than Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018.

Delayed from January 10, 2018 due to winds & January 11 due to technical issues


Mission Resources:

Mission Updates

📺 Live Launch Coverage

🚀 Launch Vehicle Overview: Delta IV M+(5,2)

🛰 Payload Overview: Topaz – Future Imagery Architecture

Countdown Timeline

Launch Weather

📍 Launch Site Schedule


(Friday) 21:00 UTC


Space Launch Complex 6

Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 6, Luner Road, Lompoc, CA, United States