Advertisement

SpaceX launches U.S. spy satellites from California

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Wednesday launched spy satellites for the National Reconnaissance Office from California. Photo courtesy SpaceX
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Wednesday launched spy satellites for the National Reconnaissance Office from California. Photo courtesy SpaceX

May 22 (UPI) -- The National Reconnaissance Office on Wednesday launched a group of U.S. spy satellites early Wednesday morning.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 launched the NROL-146 mission from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 4 a.m. EDT.

The mission marked the first launch of NRO's proliferated systems featuring responsive collection and rapid data delivery, it said.

"Our nation's evolving threats and challenges require constant vigilance, innovation and agility," Chris Scolese, director of the NRO, said in a statement.

"The NROL-146 mission that launched today reflects the NRO's commitment to developing innovation, faster and more resilient technologies and provides greater capabilities to our [intelligence community, Department of Defense] and allied partners. These systems provide key information that can only be obtained from the vantage point of space."

The NRO did not go into detail about the payload or its capability, which has been typical of its past launches There was no video taken of the Falcon 9 rocket separating, which has been usual for other SpaceX flights.

Advertisement

"Over the next decade, we will continue to increase the number of satellites operating across multiple orbits -- complementing the NRO's cutting-edge, highly-capable satellites that are the traditional hallmark of the NRO -- by adding responsive, proliferate systems," said Troy Meink, principal deputy director of the NRO.

Latest Headlines