Florida – The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) launched a spy satellite last Saturday, June 11, 2016. Its objective is classified, but they said they used the biggest rocket the organization has in service at the moment, the Delta IV, to take the satellite into orbit. The event took place at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 1:51 P.M. The project was named NROL-37, and it is supposed to strengthen the United States’ national defense project.
According to official reports, there are 17 intelligence agencies in the United States of America being the CIA the most famous of them all. However, the NRO has an important place in this secretive infrastructure, and it is among the “big five” intelligence agencies altogether with the NSA, DIA, NGA, and of course the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Betty J. Sapp is the current director of the NRO, and under her guidance, the agency is tasked with building, designing and operating spy satellites. Many military and intelligence operations depend on the information provided by Sapp’s team, but most of the times, that Intel is protected by the highest protocols of secrecy. That is why Miss. Sapp reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense.
The first reconnaissance satellite would only take pictures
Officially, the United States Airforce ordered the development of the first spy satellite program back on March 16, 1955. The objective was to put surveillance on specific areas of the planet to assess the war-making capabilities of the enemy. The U.S. government wanted to know if the Soviet Union had things like nuclear missiles.
The NRO was created on August 25, 1960, after previous programs failed to satisfy national needs, and the agency has successfully carried on with many missions since then. Due to declassification or leaks of data, the names and objectives of many of these projects are of public knowledge, such as the high-resolution photography (IMINT), Measure and Signature Intelligence (MASINT) and the communication Eavesdropping (SIGINT). Naturally, the NROL-37’s real objective is classified, but the united Launch Alliance (ULA) claims the device is going to enhance national defense.
“We are so honored to deliver the NROL-37 payload to orbit for the National Reconnaissance Office during today’s incredible launch,” said Laura Maginnis, ULA vice president of Custom Services. “This was the ninth time ULA launched the Delta IV Heavy, the most powerful launch vehicle in existence today.”
The greatest and most powerful rocket available
Building a satellite must be a difficult thing, especially a reconnaissance one, but taking it to the orbit is an equally difficult feat. The guys at the ULA like challenges, and last Saturday they used their biggest “taxi” to do it.
The Delta IV rocket is the biggest and most powerful rocket in service in modern days. It consists of 3 common booster cores and a second stage booster that provides 2.1 million lbs of thrust 8950,000 kilograms). More than enough to take the NROL-37 to orbit. Last Saturday was the ninth time the ULA has successfully launched one of these rockets, which proves they are excellent at it.
It is a busy month for Laura Maginnis’ team. The U.S Navy and the U.S. Air Force tasked the ULA with the launch of their Atlas V MUOS-5 mission. The event is scheduled for June 24 from complex-41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Source: ULA Launch