*** AV-072/NROL-42 launch fact sheet *** Payload: CLASSIFIED NATIONAL SECURITY PAYLOAD NRO satellite in Molniya orbit Collects signals intelligence Launch Date: Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 Target Launch Time: 10:30 p.m. local 1:30 a.m. EDT on Sept. 24 0530 GMT on Sept. 24 Unclassified Launch Period: Four hours 7:25-11:35 p.m. local 0225-0635 GMT on Sept. 24 Launch Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base, California Space Launch Complex 3-East Customer: National Reconnaissance Office Launch Enterprise Directorate, Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center Launch Services Provider: United Launch Alliance, Centennial, Colorado Launch Vehicle: Atlas 5 designated AV-072 541 configuration Weight at liftoff: 1.2 million pounds Thrust at liftoff: 2.4 million pounds Height: 197 feet (60 m) Common Core Booster with RD-180 engine 73,800 gallons RP-1 kerosene and liquid oxygen Thrust: 860,300 pounds Four side-mounted solid-fuel rocket boosters World's largest monolithic SRB Thrust: 380,000 pounds each Centaur upper stage with RL10C-1 engine 16,450 gallons liquid hydrogen and oxygen Thrust: 23,300 pounds 5-meter Short Fairing 18-foot-dia., 68-foot-tall composite shroud Construction: Atlas stage and Centaur upper stage built by United Launch Alliance in Decatur, Alabama Fairing manufactured by RUAG Space in Zurich RD-180 from NPO Energomash, Khimki, Russia SRBs by Aerojet Rocketdyne, Sacramento, Calif. RL10C-1 from Aerojet Rocketdyne, West Palm Beach, Florida Payload Speculation: NROL-42 is believed to be the second spacecraft in the newest generation of Molniya-orbit signals intelligence satellites unofficially called Trumpet Follow-On. The highly-inclined orbit enables the craft to dwell over northern latitudes to collect surveillance. The fourth Space Based Infrared System-HEO missile-warning senor package is hosted aboard the NROL-42 satellite. The target orbit is roughly 1,000 by 24,000 miles at an inclination of 63 degrees. About the NRO: Headquartered in Chantilly, Virginia, the National Reconnaissance Office develops and operates overhead reconnaissance systems and conducts intelligence-related activities for U.S. national Security. NRO Uses: The NRO is the nation's eyes and ears in space, supporting policy makers, the Armed Services, the Intelligence Community, Departments of State, Justice and Treasury, and civil agencies. All of them depend on the unique capabilities NRO systems provide. NRO Capabilities: - Monitoring the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction - Tracking international terrorists, drug traffickers, and criminal organizations - Developing highly accurate military targeting data and bomb damage assessments - Supporting international peacekeeping and humanitarian relief operations - Assessing the impact of natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and fires. NRO Constellations: Exquisite-class electro-optical and radar-imaging observatories, geosynchronous and Molniya-orbit eavesdropping platforms, ocean surveillance network and data-relay support spacecraft * Launch statistics * - The 655th launch for Atlas program since 1957 - The 298th Atlas launch from Vandenberg AFB since 1959 - The 244th mission of a Centaur upper stage - The 221st use of Centaur by an Atlas rocket - The 482nd production RL10 engine to be launched - The 21st RL10C-1 engine launched - The 79th flight of an RD-180 main engine - The 90-91-92-93rd AJ-60 solid rocket booster flown - The 73rd launch of an Atlas 5 since 2002 - The 15th National Reconnaissance Office use of Atlas 5 - The 5th Atlas 5 launch of 2017 - The 108th Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle flight - The 25th EELV flight for National Reconnaissance Office - The 121st United Launch Alliance flight overall - The 65th Atlas 5 under United Launch Alliance - The 34th United Launch Alliance flight from Vandenberg - The 25th NRO launch by United Launch Alliance - The 23rd 500-series flight of the Atlas 5 - The 5th Atlas 5 to fly in the 541 configuration - The 47th Atlas to use Space Launch Complex 3 - The 14th Atlas 5 launch from Vandenberg AFB since 2008 - The 48th NRO launch since acknowledging flights in 1996 - The 25th acknowledged NRO launch from Vandenberg - The 3rd NRO launch this year Twitter Feeds: Spaceflight Now ULA CEO Tory Bruno National Reconnaissance Office United Launch Alliance Aerojet Rocketdyne 30th Space Wing * GENERAL PUBLIC VIEWING * The optimal spot for the general public to view the launch is along West Ocean Avenue CA-246, immediately prior to the South Gate entrance to Vandenberg Air Force Base. The top of the rocket and launch pad will be visible only 2.7 miles away.