List of NRO launches

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Official mission patch from NRO Launch-39

This is a list of NRO Launch (NROL) designations, i.e. satellites operated by the United States National Reconnaissance Office. Those missions are generally classified, so that their exact purposes and orbital elements are not published. However, amateur astronomers have managed to observe most of the satellites, and leaked information has emerged to identify many of the payloads.

Launch
Designation
Launch Name Satellite
Designation
Launch
Date/Time (GMT)
Launch Site Rocket Orbit Project Function Status Patch Remarks
L-1 Nemesis[1] USA-179[1] 2004-08-31
23:17[2]
CCAFS SLC-36A[2] Atlas IIAS[2] Molniya Quasar[1] Communications[2] Active NROL1 USA179 patch.jpg
L-2 USA-129 1996-12-20
18:04
VAFB SLC-4E Titan IV LEO KH-11 Optical imaging
L-3 USA-133 1997-10-24
02:32
VAFB SLC-4E Titan IV LEO Lacrosse ELINT Active
L-4 Oscar USA-136 1997-11-08
02:05
CCAFS SLC-41 Titan IV Molniya Trumpet ELINT Active
L-5 Capricorn[1] USA-137[1] 1998-01-29
18:37
CCAFS SLC-36A Atlas IIA Molniya Quasar[1] Communications Active
L-6 Jack USA-139[3] 1998-05-09
01:38
CCAFS SLC-40 Titan IV/Centaur GSO Orion ELINT NROL6 USA139 patch.jpg
L-7 Elwood N/A 1998-08-12
11:30
CCAFS SLC-41 Titan IV/Centaur GSO (planned) Mercury ELINT Failed: 1998-08-12 "On a Mission from DoD" Rocket self-destructed 40 seconds into launch due to guidance problem[4]
L-8 None 1998-10-03
10:04
VAFB LC-576E Taurus 1110 LEO STEX Technology ATEX experiment jettisoned on 1999-01-16 and catalogued as USA-141
L-9 USA-144[1] 1999-05-22
09:36[5]
VAFB SLC-4E[5] Titan IVB[5] Misty[1] Optical imaging[1] USA144Misty2patch.jpg First Titan IV-B launch from VAFB
L-10 Great Bear[1] USA-155[1] 2000-12-06
02:47[2]
CCAFS SLC-36A[2] Atlas IIAS[2] GSO[2] Quasar[1] Communications[2] Active NROL10 USA155 patch.jpg NROL10 2 patch sml.jpg
L-11 USA-152 2000-08-17
23:45
VAFB SLC-4E Titan IVB LEO Lacrosse Radar imaging Active NRO L11 missionpatch.jpg Lacrosse4 L2 patch sml.jpg Lacrosse4 L patch.jpg
L-12 Aquila[1] USA-162[1] 2001-10-11
02:32[2]
CCAFS SLC-36B[2] Atlas IIAS[2] GSO[2] Quasar[1] Communications Active
L-13 Gemini[1] USA-160[1] 2001-09-08
15:25
VAFB SLC-3E[2] Atlas IIAS[2] LEO[2] Intruder[1] Naval reconnaissance[2] Active 2 satellites[2]
L-14 USA-161 2001-10-05
21:21
VAFB SLC-4E Titan IVB LEO KH-11 Optical reconnaissance Active
L-15 USA-237 2012-06-29
13:15[6]
CCAFS SLC-37B Delta IV Heavy (first RS-68A upgrade) GSO Mentor* ELINT Active * - or follow-on
L-16 Prometheus USA-182[3] 2005-04-30
00:50[7]
CCAFS SLC-40 Titan IVB LEO Lacrosse Radar imaging Active Lacrosse5 L patch.jpg Lacrosse5 M patch.jpg
L-17 GeoLITE[1] USA-158[1] 2001-05-18
17:45[8]
CCAFS SLC-17B[8] Delta II 7925-9.5[8] GSO[8] GeoLITE[1] Technology demonstration[8] Active
L-18 Libra[1] USA-173[1] 2003-12-02
10:04[2]
VAFB SLC-3E[2] Atlas IIAS[2] LEO[2] Intruder[1] Naval reconnaissance[2] Active 2 satellites[2]
L-19 Homer[9] USA-171[3] 2003-09-09
04:29[10]
CCAFS SLC-40 Titan IVB/Centaur GSO Orion ELINT Active NROL19 USA171 patch.jpg NROL 19 patch sml.jpg
L-20 USA-186[3] 2005-10-19
18:05[11]
VAFB SLC-4E Titan IVB LEO KH-11 Optical imaging Active NROL20 USA186 patch.jpg
L-21 USA-193[1] 2006-12-14
21:00[8]
VAFB SLC-2W[8] Delta II 7920-10[8] LEO[8] Unknown Unknown Failed USA193patch.jpg Failed immediately after launch. Destroyed by ASAT on 2008-02-21.
L-22 USA-184[1] 2006-06-28
03:33
VAFB SLC-6 Delta IV M+(4,2) Molniya Improved Trumpet[1] ELINT Active NROL22 USA184 patch.jpg
L-23 Canis Minor[1] USA-181[1] 2005-02-03
07:41
CCAFS SLC-36B Atlas IIIB LEO Intruder[1] Naval reconnaissance Active NROL23 NOSS3 3patch.jpg NROL23 NOSS3 3 L patch.jpg 2 satellites
L-24 Scorpius[1] USA-198[1] 2007-12-10
22:05
CCAFS SLC-41 Atlas V 401 Molniya Quasar[1] Communications Active NROL24 USA198 patch.jpg NROL24 USA198 L patch.jpg
L-25 Altair USA-234 2012-04-03
23:12[12][13]
VAFB SLC-6 Delta IV M+(5,2) Retrograde LEO [14] Topaz Radar imaging Active NROL-25-patch.jpg
L-26 USA-202 2009-01-18
02:47
CCAFS SLC-37B Delta IV Heavy GSO Orion ELINT Active NROL26 USA202 patch.jpg NROL26 USA202 L patch.jpg
L-27 Gryphon[9] USA-227 2011-03-11
23:38
CCAFS SLC-37B Delta IV M+(4,2) GSO Quasar Communications Active NROL 27 patch sml.jpg NROL27 2 patch sml.jpg
L-28 USA-200 2008-03-13
10:02
VAFB SLC-3E Atlas V 411 Molniya Improved Trumpet ELINT Active NROL28 USA200 patch.jpg USA200patch.jpg
L-29 VAFB SLC-3E Atlas V 521 [15] Cancelled
L-30 Pyxis[1] USA-194[1] 2007-06-15
15:12
CCAFS SLC-41 Atlas V 401[1] LEO Intruder[1] Naval reconnaissance Active NROL30 NOSS3 4patch.jpg 2 satellites
Premature 2nd stage cutoff during launch. Lifetime reduced by need to correct orbit
L-32[16] USA-223 2010-11-21
22:58[17]
CCAFS SLC-37B Delta IV Heavy GSO Orion[18] ELINT Operational NROL32 patch.jpg NROL-32 Patch.png
L-33 [19] USA-252 2014-05-22
13:09
CCAFS SLC-41 Atlas V 401 GSO Quasar Communications Active
L-34 Odin[20] USA-229 2011-04-15
04:24
VAFB SLC-3E[17] Atlas V 411[17] LEO Intruder Naval SIGINT Operational[21] NROL 34 patch.jpg Two satellites
L-35 USA-259 2014-12-13
03:19
VAFB SLC-3E Atlas V 541 Molniya ELINT (?) Launched NROL35.jpg First flight of the RL10C-1 rocket engine, used by the Centaur upper stage
L-36[22] USA-238[23] 2012-09-13
21:39[13]
VAFB SLC-3E Atlas V 401[24] Low Earth Intruder SIGINT Launched

NROL-36 Logo.jpg

Two satellites sharing a designation
L-37[25] USA-268 2016-06-11
17:51
CCAFS SLC-37B Delta IV Heavy GSO Orion SIGINT[26] Launched

Mission patch for NROL-37 "The NROL37 mission patch depicts a knight, a symbol of courage with a chivalrous code of conduct representing bravery, training, and service to others. The knight stands in front of the U.S. flag in a defensive posture as to protect at all cost. The eagle on the chest is a symbol of both freedom and the United States of America. The sword is a message of tenacious, fierce focus with the claws representing extreme reach with global coverage." description by National Reconnaissance Office

Likely the seventh so called Mentor/Orion satellite for the National Security Agency.[27]
L-38 [28] Drake [29] USA-236 2012-06-20
12:28[13]
CCAFS SLC-41 Atlas V 401 GSO Quasar Communications Active National Reconnaissance Office NROL-38 launch patch.jpg
L-39[30] USA-247 2013-12-06
07:14[31]
VAFB SLC-3E Atlas V 501 Low Earth Topaz Radar imaging Active Mission "patch" of NROL-39: an octopus grabbing the earth's globe, labeled "Nothing is beyond our reach"
L-41[16] Gladys[9] USA-215[1] 2010-09-21
04:03[17]
VAFB SLC-3E Atlas V 501 LEO (retrograde)[32] 1058 x 1072 km [33] Topaz Radar imaging Operational NROL 41 patch.jpg NROL 41 Gladys patch sml.jpg
L-42[34] TBD 2017 VAFB SLC-3E Atlas V 541 Awaiting launch
L-44[34] TBD NET 2019 CCAFS SLC-37B Delta IV Heavy Awaiting launch
L-45 [30] USA-267 2016-02-10 11:40 VAFB SLC-6 Delta IV M+(5,2) LEO (retrograde)[35] 1084 x 1086 km x 123 deg[36] Topaz Radar imaging Launched 2016-02-10-020216-350x341.jpg
L-49[16] Betty[9] USA-224 2011-01-20
21:10[37]
VAFB SLC-6 Delta IV Heavy LEO 239 x 1005 km[38] KH-11[37] Optical imaging Operational NROL49 patch.jpg NROL49 2 patch sml.jpg
L-52[34] TBD NET 2018 CCAFS SLC-41 Atlas V Awaiting launch
L-55[34] USA-264 2015-10-08
12:49
VAFB SLC-3E Atlas V 401 LEO 1000 x 1200 km x 63.4°[39] Intruder Naval SIGINT ELINT[27] Launched Mission "patch" of NROL-55: a weapon smith (Hephaestus) is forging a sword. "SUSTENTANTES BELLATORES DE CÆLIS" means something like "In sustained support for the warriors, from the sky/or heaven" one classified satellite (NROL-55) and 13 cubesats.
L-61[34] TBD 2016-07-28 CCAFS SLC-41 Atlas V 421 Awaiting launch
L-65 [40] USA-245 2013-08-28
18:03
VAFB SLC-6 Delta IV Heavy LEO KH-11 Optical imaging Launched
L-66[41] USA-225 2011-02-06
12:26
VAFB SLC-8 Minotaur I LEO RPP Technology Operational NROL-66 Patch.png
L-67 [42] USA-250 2014-04-10
17:45
CCAFS SLC-41 Atlas V 541 Launched
L-68[26] TBD NET 2021 CCAFS SLC-37B Delta IV Heavy Awaiting launch
L-70[26] TBD NET 2022 CCAFS SLC-37B Delta IV Heavy Awaiting launch
L-71[34] TBD NET 2018 VAFB SLC-6 Delta IV Heavy Awaiting launch
L-76[43] TBD NET March 2017 CCAFS SLC-40 Falcon 9 Awaiting launch
L-79[34][44] TBD 2016-12-01[45] VAFB SLC-3E Atlas V 401 Awaiting launch
L-82[26] TBD NET 2020 VAFB SLC-6 Delta IV Heavy Awaiting launch
L-101[34] TBD NET 2019 CCAFS SLC-41 Atlas V Awaiting launch
Launch
Designation
Launch Name Satellite
Designation
Launch
Date/Time (GMT)
Launch Site Rocket Orbit Project Function Status Patch Remarks

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive – US Military Launch Record. None. Retrieved on September 15, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Encyclopedia Astronautica – Atlas IIAS. Astronautix.com. Retrieved on September 15, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d NRO codenames. Forum.nasaspaceflight.com. Retrieved on September 15, 2011.
  4. ^ National Reconnaissance Office Satellite Destroyed August 19, 1998
  5. ^ a b c National Reconnaissance Satellite Successfully Launched May 22, 1999
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ NRO Successfully Launches Last Titan from Cape Canaveral April 29, 2005
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Encyclopedia Astronautica – Delta 7000 Archived March 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ a b c d "Re: NROL codenames". nasaspaceflight.com. 2011-01-22. 
  10. ^ NRO SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHES PAYLOAD FROM TITAN IV September 10, 2003
  11. ^ NRO Payload Takes Last Ride Aboard Titan IV October 20, 2005
  12. ^ NROL-25 Mission Status
  13. ^ a b c Spaceflight Now: Worldwide launch schedule. Spaceflightnow.com. Retrieved on Feb 3, 2012.
  14. ^ Delta 4 headed for backwards orbit
  15. ^ http://www.comspacewatch.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=16796
  16. ^ a b c Spaceflight Now: Worldwide launch schedule. Spaceflightnow.com. Retrieved on September 15, 2011.
  17. ^ a b c d Atlas Launch Report | Mission Status Center. Spaceflight Now. Retrieved on September 15, 2011.
  18. ^ Delta IV Heavy launches with NROL-32. NASASpaceFlight.com (2010-11-21). Retrieved on September 15, 2011.
  19. ^ http://msdb.gsfc.nasa.gov/MissionData.php?mission=NROL-33
  20. ^ :::: United Launch Alliance, LLC ::::. Ulalaunch.com. Retrieved on September 15, 2011.
  21. ^ [2][dead link]
  22. ^ http://www.n2yo.com/satellite/?s=38758
  23. ^ http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/masterCatalog.do?sc=2012-048A
  24. ^ http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/pages/Launch.shtml#/30/
  25. ^ "Triple-barrel Delta 4-Heavy launches national security satellite". Spaceflight Now. 11 June 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  26. ^ a b c d Ray, Justin (June 7, 2016). "Surveillance satellite launching Thursday atop Delta 4-Heavy rocket". Spaceflight Now. 
  27. ^ a b "Gunter's Space Page". 2016-06-09. Retrieved 2016-06-09. 
  28. ^ http://msdb.gsfc.nasa.gov/MissionData.php?mission=NROL-38
  29. ^ http://www.spaceflightnow.com/atlas/av023/images/NROL38logo.jpg
  30. ^ a b https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=3f220ddfda92019ff7ad72adcde4e37c&tab=core&_cview=1
  31. ^ NRO Press Release 2013-04
  32. ^ Barhorst, Leo (2010-10-01). "Reason for FIA Radar 1/USA 215 retrograde orbit?". Retrieved 2010-10-02. 
  33. ^ Molczan, Ted (2010-09-22). "NROL 41". Retrieved 2010-10-02. 
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h "2016 manifest preview: United Launch Alliance’s busy year ahead". Spaceflight Now. 20 April 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  35. ^ "ULA Delta IV launches with NROL-45 | NASASpaceFlight.com". www.nasaspaceflight.com. Retrieved 2016-02-11. 
  36. ^ McDowell, Jonathan (2016-02-10). "Twitter". Retrieved 2016-02-13. TOPAZ 4 (USA 267) has been observed by hobbyist @cgbassa in a 1084 x 1086 km x 123 deg orbit following today's launch from Vandenberg 
  37. ^ a b Graham, William (2011-01-20). "Delta IV Heavy launches on debut West Coast launch with NRO L-49". NASA Spaceflight. Retrieved 2011-01-21. 
  38. ^ Molczan, Ted (2011-01-22). "RE: NROL-49 search elements". 
  39. ^ Graham, William (2015-10-07). "NROL-55 takes a ride uphill on ULA Atlas V". NASA Spaceflight. 
  40. ^ http://msdb.gsfc.nasa.gov/MissionData.php?mission=NROL-65
  41. ^ Graham, William (2011-02-06). "Orbital’s Minotaur I launches with NROL-66". nasaspaceflight.com. 
  42. ^ "United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches Second Mission in Just Seven Days". United Launch Alliance. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  43. ^ Gruss, Mike. "NRO discloses previously unannounced launch contract for SpaceX". SpaceNews. Retrieved 19 May 2016. 
  44. ^ USAF. "EELV PHASE 1A NROL-79 Request For Proposal". 
  45. ^ http://www.americaspace.com/?page_id=11236

External links[edit]

  • [Link dead] The Current NSS Launch Manifest, 2001–2020 (page 83)
  • [3] National Security Space Launch Report (pages 112)