United Launch Alliance (ULA) will launch the NROL-52 mission onboard its Atlas V 421 rocket at 3:31 a.m. EDT on Saturday, Oct. 14 from the Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
NROL-52 is a classified mission for the United States National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
It is suspected to belong to the fourth generation of the classified Space Data System operated by the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office to relay data from U.S. intelligence-gathering assets in real time, including image reconnaissance data collected by the Keyhole satellites in elliptical polar orbits.
For this mission, Atlas V will fly in its 421 configuration with a four-meter payload fairing, two Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ-60A solid rocket boosters (SRB) and a single-engine Centaur upper stage.
The NROL-52 mission will mark ULA’s seventh launch of 2017 and 122nd overall.
It will be the 26th launch for the NRO by the ULA and 49th launch of NRO overall since 1996.
NROL-52 will be the 74th flight of the Atlas V rocket since its inaugural launch on Aug. 21, 2002 and the seventh in the 421 configuration.