October 17, 2017

Fact sheet: Atlas 5 rocket to launch the NROL-42 mission from Vandenberg

		*** 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. 
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!