ULA Delta IV rocket to launch NROL-47 mission

United Launch Alliance (ULA) will launch the NROL-47 mission onboard its Delta IV Med+ (5,2) rocket on Wednesday, Dec. 13 from the Space Launch Complex 6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

NROL-47 is a classified mission for the United States National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

The NROL-47 (codenamed Topaz 5, FIA-Radar 5) is speculated to be a radar reconnaissance satellite which is part of NRO’s Future Imagery Architecture (FIA) program. The satellite will be operating from an unusual retrograde orbit inclined 123 degrees.

The Delta IV M+(5,2) configuration have two strap-on solid rocket motors (SRM) and 5-m-diameter diameter payload fairing (PLF). The Medium+ (5,2) can launch 5,072 kg to Geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).

All configuration of Delta IV launch vehicle comprises of a common booster core (CBC), a cryogenic upper stage and either a 4-m-diameter or 5-m-diameter payload fairing (PLF).

This will be the last flight of the Delta IV M+(5,2) version as ULA begins to retire the Delta IV Medium versions.

The NROL-47 mission will mark ULA’s ninth launch of 2017 and 27th for the National Reconnaissance Office. This will be the 36th flight of the Delta IV rocket since its inaugural launch 2002.

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