Monday, June 7, 2021

National security payload scheduled for launch from Virginia's Wallops Island

A Minotaur I rocket carrying three national security payloads for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is scheduled for launch June 15 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The launch vehicle, built and operated by Northrop Grumman, is scheduled for liftoff at 7:00 a.m. EDT from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s (MARS) Pad 0B on Wallops Island.

The launch may be visible along the U.S. east coast.

This mission, named NROL-111, will be the NRO’s second dedicated launch from Wallops in the last 12 months.

The NRO is a Department of Defense agency responsible for developing, acquiring, launching, and operating America’s intelligence satellites.

The 69-foot tall Minotaur I launch vehicle consists of two solid-fueled motors from decommissioned Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles as the lower stages and two solid-fueled commercial solid rocket motors as upper stages.

NROL-111 is the second Northrop Grumman orbital launch from the MARS launch pads in 2021. Minotaur rockets have been launched from Wallops for nearly 15 years.

No comments: