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Mission Reports




For 12 years, Spaceflight Now has been providing unrivaled coverage of U.S. space launches. Comprehensive reports and voluminous amounts of video are available in our archives.
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Flight #49: May 4, 2012
AV-031: Atlas 5-531 launches AEHF 2
Satellite for secure wartime communications goes up
Forging a new constellation of ultra-secure communications satellites that will ring the globe to link the president with military forces anywhere on the planet, an Atlas 5 rocket roared to space Friday to continue putting the pieces in place for the warfighter.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #48: April 3, 2012
Delta 359: Delta 4-Medium+ lofts NROL-25
Delta 4 rocket successfully lofts surveillance satellite
A Delta 4 rocket made a thunderous departure from California on Tuesday afternoon, only to slip into a news blackout minutes later while it climbed higher and faster to deploy a classified spy satellite, a success-defining milestone that was confirmed by hobbyist observers.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #47: Feb. 24, 2012
AV-030: Atlas 5-551 launches MUOS 1
Atlas 5 rocket navigates new Navy satellite into orbit
Like erecting a cellular telephone tower 22,300 miles tall, the U.S. Navy's first-of-its-kind mobile communications satellite rose high above Earth Friday night to provide 3G voice, data and video services to military troops on the move.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #46: Jan. 19, 2012
Delta 358: Delta 4-Medium+ launches WGS 4
Delta 4 rocket soars for the Defense Department
A new Air Force satellite headed for service over the Middle East to route essential communications to U.S. military forces and improve data links to unmanned aerial drones was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral last night.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #45: Nov. 26, 2011
AV-028: Atlas 5-541 launches MSL
Mars Science Laboratory begins cruise to Red Planet
A towering Atlas 5 rocket flashed to life and vaulted into space Saturday, putting on a spectacular weekend sky show as it boosted NASA's $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory rover on an eight-and-a-half-month 352-million-mile voyage to the Red Planet.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #44: Aug. 5, 2011
AV-029: Atlas 5-551 launches Juno
Juno spacecraft leaves Earth for journey to Jupiter
United Launch Alliance's Atlas 5 rocket roared to life Friday and dispatched NASA's solar-powered Juno space probe on a five-year voyage to Jupiter, the first step in a $1.1 billion mission to look for clues about the origins of the solar system in the hidden heart of its largest planet.
   LAUNCH STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #43: July 16, 2011
Delta 355: Delta 4-Medium+ lofts GPS 2F-2
GPS navigation satellite takes nighttime ride to orbit
Continuing a prolific partnership that has benefited billions of users around the world, the Delta rocket family Saturday successfully launched its 50th satellite for the Global Positioning System.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #42: May 7, 2011
AV-022: Atlas 5-401 launches SBIRS GEO-1
Beginning a new generation of missile early-warning
For the past four decades a band of orbiting sentinels has watched the world and sounded the alarm when enemy missiles take flight. Now, a new generation of advanced satellites that began launching Saturday will continue standing guard while also giving the U.S. military better insights into global hotspots.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #41: April 14, 2011
AV-027: Atlas 5-411 launches NROL-34
Primetime rocket launch lights up the West Coast
A whirlwind of national security space launches over the past seven months using six rockets and four pads was completed successfully Thursday night when an Atlas 5 booster soared from California.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #40: March 11, 2011
Delta 353: Delta 4-Medium+ lofts NROL-27
Information-routing craft deployed by Delta 4
A medium-class version of United Launch Alliance's Delta 4 rocket gave a lift to the National Reconnaissance Office and an information-routing spacecraft Friday night with blastoff from Cape Canaveral.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #39: March 5, 2011
AV-026: Atlas 5-501 launches second X-37B
Atlas rocket sends secret military shuttle to space
Shot into orbit Saturday by a gleaming white and gold Atlas 5 rocket, the U.S. Air Force's second top secret X-37B spaceplane will push the boundaries of the craft's design and could stay in orbit longer than its predecessor.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #38: Jan. 20, 2011
Delta 352: Delta 4-Heavy launches NROL-49
Delta 4-Heavy rocket launches from California
The clandestine cargo carried into polar orbit Thursday aboard the first California-launched Delta 4-Heavy rocket was a crucial replacement satellite for the nation's surveillance and security network, amateur sky-watchers say.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
   HISTORY FEATURE STORY
Flight #37: Nov. 21, 2010
Delta 351: Delta 4-Heavy launches NROL-32
Eavesdropping craft heads to space atop Delta 4-Heavy
One could not overstate the importance of Sunday night's Delta 4-Heavy launch to national security, a mission by the massive rocket from Cape Canaveral that deployed "the largest satellite in the world" to hear the whispers of evil.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #36: Sept. 20, 2010
AV-025: Atlas 5-501 launches NROL-41
Atlas 5 rocket launches clandestine spacecraft
Igniting a major surge of five national security space launches in the next few months, an Atlas 5 rocket soared away from America's western spaceport Monday night carrying a covert spy satellite.
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #35: Aug. 14, 2010
AV-019: Atlas 5-531 launches AEHF 1
Rise and shine: Atlas 5 rocket soars at dawn
A sophisticated satellite was launched into space Saturday to improve the preeminent path of communications between the president, military commanders and troops on the battlefield, ensuring a survivable line of contact even in hellish scenarios of nuclear warfare.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #34: May 27, 2010
Delta 349: Delta 4-Medium+ lofts GPS 2F-1
First-of-its-kind satellite for GPS launched into space
A new era for the Global Positioning System rocketed into orbit Thursday night, beginning a concerted effort to sharpen the precision capabilities beaming from the world's foremost space-based navigation network.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #33: April 22, 2010
AV-012: Atlas 5-501 launches X-37B
U.S. Air Force's X-37B spaceplane circling Earth
An Atlas 5 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral at sunset April 22 to propel into orbit the U.S. military's experimental X-37B spaceplane, the prototype for an unmanned reusable space shuttle.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #32: March 4, 2010
Delta 348: Delta 4-Medium+ lofts GOES P
Teaming of Delta 4 rocket and GOES a sweet success
The Delta 4 rocket has accomplished a critical three-peat for the nation in flawless style, successfully capping a series of repetitive but highly important U.S. weather satellite launches with a beautiful blastoff at nightfall March 4.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #31: Feb. 11, 2010
AV-021: Atlas 5-401 launches SDO
Atlas launches solar probe with down-to-Earth purpose
Greeted by blustery weather and deep blue skies, an Atlas 5 rocket soared into space February 11, successfully placing an $848 million satellite on track to probe the sun and unravel its fundamental effects on Earth and society.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #30: Dec. 5, 2009
Delta 346: Delta 4-Medium+ launches WGS 3
New communications craft launched for U.S. military
The Delta 4 rocket debuted its latest variant with a display of power and precision Saturday night, successfully using an energetic creation to heave a vital communications satellite into space for the U.S. military.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #29: Nov. 23, 2009
AV-024: Atlas 5-431 launches Intelsat 14
Atlas 5 launches Intelsat communications satellite
An international telecommunications satellite that will bridge the Atlantic with a broad reach to four continents was successfully hauled into orbit November 23 aboard an Atlas 5 rocket that completed its last purely commercial launch for the foreseeable future.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #28: Oct. 18, 2009
AV-017: Atlas 5-401 launches DMSP F18
U.S. military's new weather satellite gets foggy sendoff
An Atlas 5 rocket escaped the heavy blanket of fog smothering its launch pad Sunday morning and successfully powered to space to deploy a new global weather observatory for America's military.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #27: Sept. 8, 2009
AV-018: Atlas 5-401 launches PAN
Atlas rocket successfully launches its secret payload
A mysterious spacecraft whose mission is cloaked in secrecy left Cape Canaveral atop the hard-to-miss roar of its Atlas 5 rocket and then revealed a major clue about itself while cruising above a satellite-tracking hobbyist a short time later.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #26: June 27, 2009
Delta 342: Delta 4-Medium+ lofts GOES O
Delta 4 deploys advanced weather observatory
A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket boosted a new GOES weather satellite into space June 27 to serve as an orbital spare for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's fleet of hurricane-tracking weather sentinels.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #25: June 18, 2009
AV-020: Atlas 5-401 launches LRO/LCROSS
Rocket launch puts NASA on journey back to the Moon
A robotic scout to reconnoiter the Moon like never before and a sleuth that will dig into a tantalizing mystery at the lunar south pole blasted off June 18 aboard an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #24: April 3, 2009
AV-016: Atlas 5-421 launches WGS 2
Atlas 5 rocket successfully launches military satellite
It was a perfect Friday night flight for the Atlas 5 rocket, completing a military mission that put an advanced communications spacecraft into the sky to serve U.S. forces deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #23: Jan. 17, 2009
Delta 337: Delta 4-Heavy launches NROL-26
Delta 4-Heavy rocket launches secret satellite
America's heavy-lift rocket, the white and orange triple-barreled booster towering 23 stories tall, launched a new intelligence-gathering satellite for the nation Jan. 17.
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #22: April 18, 2008
AV-014: Atlas 5-421 launches ICO G1
Atlas 5 rocket puts up mobile services satellite
Thundering out of Cape Canaveral on its first commercial flight in two years and carrying its heaviest payload ever, an Atlas 5 rocket on April 14 successfully launched a mobile communications satellite to assist and entertain Americans on the go.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #21: March 13, 2008
AV-006: Atlas 5-411 launches NROL-28
Atlas 5 rocket launches from California for first time
America's Atlas 5 rocket made its much-anticipated maiden mission from the West Coast on March 13, piercing ground-hugging clouds and fog that blanketed the launch pad to send a secretive spy satellite into orbit.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #20: Dec. 10, 2007
AV-015: Atlas 5-401 launches NROL-24
Atlas 5 lofts clandestine communications satellite
Its thunderous departure out of Cape Canaveral on Monday afternoon was hard to miss, but the hush-hush ascent of the Atlas 5 rocket was wrapped in an unusual cloak of secrecy as the booster propelled high above Earth a classified spacecraft designed to communicate with spy satellites.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #19: Nov. 10, 2007
Delta 329: Delta 4-Heavy launches DSP 23
Delta 4-Heavy rocket fires away from Cape Canaveral
It is America's largest unmanned space booster. Its level of complexity causes engineers to liken it to launching three rockets at one time. And its fiery blastoffs create a dazzling yet heart-in-your-throat sight. Now, the mammoth Delta 4-Heavy has entered operational service with Saturday night's successful ascent carrying a critical surveillance satellite.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #18: Oct. 10, 2007
AV-011: Atlas 5-421 launches WGS SV1
Military communications take 'quantum leap'
An advanced communications satellite with as much capacity as the entire orbiting fleet of craft that it will help replace was successfully shot into orbit Wednesday night atop a 19-story Atlas 5 rocket.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #17: June 15, 2007
AV-009: Atlas 5-401 launches NROL-30
Atlas 5 rocket experiences problem during launch
The Atlas rocket program's spotless success record over the past 80 flights in 14 years was hit with a blemish June 15 while launching a classified U.S. national security satellite payload.
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #16: March 8, 2007
AV-013: Atlas 5-401 launches STP 1
Cluster of military payloads launches on Atlas 5 rocket
The Atlas 5 rocket's first flight for the U.S. Air Force launched Thursday night from Florida, on an unusually complex mission to deploy a flock of military research satellites into two different orbits. Read about the rocket's climb to orbit in our status center.
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #15: Nov. 4, 2006
Delta 320: Delta 4-Medium lofts DMSP F17
Military weather satellite rockets into polar orbit
A globe-spanning weather observatory successfully launched into space November 4 aboard a Boeing Delta 4 rocket, giving the U.S. military a new set of orbiting eyes to help plan air, sea and land operations around the world.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #14: June 27, 2006
Delta 317: Delta 4-Medium+ lofts NRO craft
New era of rocket launches begins at California base
A new spy satellite is circling Earth after a spectacular sendoff Tuesday evening, marking the first time such a clandestine national security spacecraft has launched aboard America's modern breed of rockets.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #13: May 24, 2006
Delta 315: Delta 4-Medium+ lofts GOES-N
Weather observatory for Americas ascends to space
The first member of a revitalized series of spaceborne weather watchers was shepherded into orbit by a Delta 4 rocket in a marathon launch May 24, giving American meteorologists a sophisticated new tool to warn against dangerous severe storms.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #12: April 20, 2006
AV-008: Atlas 5-411 launches ASTRA 1KR
Atlas 5 rocket launches TV broadcast craft for Europe
A Lockheed Martin Atlas 5 rocket kept its appointment to launch a television broadcast satellite that will serve million of homes across Europe, successfully roaring off a Florida launch pad April 20 on the exact minute scheduled months in advance.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #11: Jan. 19, 2006
AV-010: Atlas 5-551 launches New Horizons
Probe sets sail on voyage to the outer solar system
A supercharged Atlas 5 rocket carrying NASA's Pluto-bound New Horizons probe roared to life and vaulted away from Earth January 19 on a three-billion-mile, nine-year voyage to the frigid edge of the solar system.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #10: Aug. 12, 2005
AV-007: Atlas 5-401 launches Mars Orbiter
Sharp-eyed orbiter dispatched to Mars
A Lockheed Martin Atlas 5 rocket boosted NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter into space August 12, kicking off a $720 million mission to sniff out underground ice deposits, to map the red planet's geology with unprecedented clarity and to monitor its tenuous, dusty atmosphere in an ongoing scientific assault.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #9: March 11, 2005
AV-004: Atlas 5-431 launches Inmarsat 4-F1
Atlas rocket family extends launch success record
Riding the most powerful Atlas rocket in history, the world's heaviest commercial communications satellite is circling the Earth following Friday's fast and fiery blastoff from Cape Canaveral.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #8: Dec. 21, 2004
Delta 310: Delta 4-Heavy demo flight
Delta 4-Heavy rocket hits snag on test launch
The test launch of Boeing's Delta 4-Heavy rocket began with a breath-taking blastoff from Cape Canaveral on December 21 but lower-than-expected performance during the initial minutes of flight ultimately caused the mission to fall short of its intended orbit.
   MISSION COVERAGE
   PHOTO GALLERY: FIRST LAUNCH VIEWS
   PHOTO GALLERY: ROCKET FLIES DOWNRANGE
   PHOTO GALLERY: CAMERAS AT LAUNCH PAD
   PHOTO GALLERY: MORE STUNNING PICTURES
Flight #7: Dec. 17, 2004
AV-005: Atlas 5-521 launches AMC-16
Atlas 5 rocket completes another successful launch
Call it the ultimate whirlwind experience in the rocket business. In the span of 12 hours, Lockheed Martin's Atlas 5 rocket went to the launch pad, took on its fuel, persevered through a couple of technical bugs, roared off the planet on 31 million horsepower and was rewarded with another success as it deployed a commercial satellite cargo into orbit.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #6: Aug. 29, 2003
Delta 301: Delta 4 Medium launches DSCS B6
Delta 4 rocket delivers last Air Force DSCS satellite
After four decades and two dozen launches, the Air Force's longest-running communications satellite system received its final member August 29 with the successful flight of Boeing's Delta 4 rocket.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #5: July 17, 2003
AV-003: Atlas 5-521 launches Rainbow 1
Enhanced version of Atlas 5 rocket debuts successfully
The largest and most powerful Atlas rocket in history rushed off its Cape Canaveral pad on a river of golden flame July 17 to expand Lockheed Martin's launcher family.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #4: May 13, 2003
AV-002: Atlas 5-401 launches Hellas Sat
First Greek satellite launch performed by Atlas 5 rocket
The May 13 rocket launch from Cape Canaveral wasn't your every day satellite delivery mission. Sure, it had that unmistakable crackling roar and golden tail of fire. But the successful second flight of Lockheed Martin's Atlas 5 rocket began with a history-making accomplishment and ended with Greece achieving its first presence in space.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #3: March 10, 2003
Delta 296: Delta 4 Medium launches DSCS A3
Delta 4 rocket successfully begins military service
Born in the last decade by the Pentagon's call for a next-generation launcher of satellite cargos, Boeing's Delta 4 rocket did what it was designed to do March 10 with the successful deployment of a $210 million military communications spacecraft.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Flight #2: Nov. 20, 2002
Delta 293: Delta 4 Medium+ launches W5
Boeing's Delta 4 rocket debuts successfully
The era of Boeing's next-generation rocket family was launched with success November 20 as the maiden Delta 4 powered its way into Earth orbit to deploy a European-made communications satellite.
   FULL COVERAGE
Delta 4
Flight #1: Aug. 21, 2002
AV-001: Maiden voyage of Atlas 5
Next-generation Atlas 5 sailed 'perfect' first voyage
Riding a tongue of golden flame from its Russian-made engine, Lockheed Martin's first Atlas 5 booster sailed into space August 21 to successfully open a new chapter for America's rocket industry.
   FULL COVERAGE
Atlas 5
John Glenn Mission Patch

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The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.
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Final Shuttle Mission Patch

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The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!
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Celebrate the shuttle program

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This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!
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Anniversary Shuttle Patch

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This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.
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Mercury anniversary

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Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.
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Fallen Heroes Patch Collection
The official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.
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