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SSC and ULA Successfully Launch NROL-70 to orbit

NROL-70 Launch. Credit: ULA / SSC

Ibadan, 11 April 2024. – The U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command (SSC) and its mission partners have successfully launched and delivered on orbit a National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) payload, NROL-70, onboard United Launch Alliance (ULA)’s final Delta IV Heavy rocket. The launch happened from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS).

The Delta IV Heavy has launched the NRO’s most critical satellites for more than 15 years, providing vital data to help protect the US and its allies. Consequently, ULA’s Vulcan will lift the next generation of national security and commercial satellites into space, transforming launch with more affordable and higher performance capability following the retirement of the Delta family of space launch vehicles.

The Assured Access to Space (AATS) program executive office within the SSC is responsible for delivering next-generation launch and on-orbit capabilities in support of the warfighter, combatant commands, intelligence agencies, civil services, allied nations and the commercial space industry. AATS is also responsible for range sustainment programs supporting launch and test customers.

Speaking on the launch, Col. Jim Horne, SSC’s senior materiel leader for the Launch Execution Delta, commented, “We are happy to successfully complete the historic final launch of the extremely reliable and capable Delta IV rocket. Most importantly, the payload we’ve put into space adds to the unique capability the NRO provides to keep us safe and out in front of the pacing challenges posed by our Nation’s competitors.” Col. Horne also added, “Today’s team, comprised  the NRO, U. S. Space Force, and United Launch Alliance, did an immense amount of work behind the scenes to ensure these specialized national assets are delivered to orbit.”

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