Atlas V to launch NROL-42
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is aiming for a nighttime liftoff from California on Saturday, set to dispatch a classified satellite into orbit for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. NROL-42 most likely is a signals intelligence satellite flying under the Trumpet program and destined for a Highly Elliptical Orbit from where it can complement Geostationary intelligence-gathering satellites by providing optimized coverage over the high latitude regions.
As is typical for NRO missions, Atlas V will fly into a pre-arranged News Blackout at the point of payload fairing separation approximately three and a half minutes into the mission to allow NROL-42 to reach its classified orbit without the public watching.
Live Video by United Launch Alliance
|Launch Date: September 24, 2017
|Launch Time: 5:30 UTC
|Launch Site: SLC-3E, Vandenberg
|Atlas V 541 Launch Vehicle
|Launch Vehicle: Atlas V 401
|Payload: NROL-42 (Trumpet FO-2-2)
|Target Orbit: Molniya Transfer Orbit
|Parameters: 2,100 x 37,750 km, 63°