Thursday, March 10, 2011

Delta IV rocket to launch military satellite Friday

A powerful Delta IV rocket will carry a classified reconnaissance satellite for the U.S. military into earth orbit on Friday from America's Space Coast.

The United Launch Alliance Delta IV-medium will carry the NROL-27 for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office in support of the military's national defense.

Friday's launch will mark the fifteenth Delta IV launch since 2002.

Launch of the Boeing-built Delta IV with it's classified military payload is planned for March 11 at 5:57 p.m. EST (2257 GMT), from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The launch window is unknown.

Cape weather out of Patrick, AFB states weather is forecast 90% favorable at launch time.

As the Delta IV reaches zero a top launch complex 37B, the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-68 liquid fueled single core engine will ignite, followed by twin Graphite-Epoxy Motors or GEM-60 solid fueled rockets to send the rocket aloft.

Several minutes into the launch, the twin boosters will separate followed by the clam shell payload fairing a minute later.

The Delta IV will then soar eastward out over the Atlantic waters as it heads into a cloudless blue sky thirty minutes prior to sunset.

Once the 4 meter wide payload fairing separates, the Air Force will put the final minutes of the Delta's ascent into a news blackout as it carries it's payload to a secret orbital plane.

This launch will mark the third NROL satellite to be placed in orbit in 2011.

No comments:

copyright 1998 - 2010 Charles Atkeison, All rights reserved.