美国将于7月15日发射4个情报有效载荷 开拓小型商业发射市场(英文)

2020-07-14 智邦网

编译 致远

据C4ISR网站2020年7月13日报道,四个国家侦察局有效载荷将于7月15日发射升空进入轨道,继续开拓小型商业发射市场。

美国太空局太空与导弹系统中心7月11日宣布,已完成飞行准备审查,于东部时间上午9点在弗吉尼亚州NASA沃洛普斯飞行基地的中大西洋区域空间站发射升空。

尽管因故导致最近一次发射未能进入预定轨道,但五角大楼和情报部门将继续推进火箭实验室的预定发射任务。

为“国家侦察局发射-129(NROL-129)”任务,该局设计研制的4个有效载荷将被送入轨道。该局负责获取和管理国家情报卫星未透露该有效载荷在轨目的。

US to launch four intelligence payloads July 15

Four National Reconnaissance Office payloads will be launched into orbit July 15, continuing the agency’s efforts to leverage the small commercial launch market for its missions.

The U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center announced July 11 that it successfully completed its flight readiness review, putting the launch on track for its 9 a.m. ET window at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Despite an anomaly that caused the company’s most recent launch to fail to reach orbit, both the Pentagon and the intelligence community are moving forward with their scheduled missions with Rocket Lab.

For the National Reconnaissance Office Launch-129 (NROL-129) mission, four payloads built and designed by NRO will be placed on orbit. The agency, which is charged with acquiring and managing the nation’s intelligence satellites, typically does not release details about the payloads it places on orbit or their purpose, and NROL-129 is not an exception.

The launch contract was awarded through the U.S. Air Force’s Orbital/Suborbital Program-3, or OSP-3, a contract mechanism designed to take advantage of commercial small launch providers. OSP-3 expired in November 2019 and was replaced by OSP-4.

“We look forward to launching NROL-129 for our National Reconnaissance Office customer,” Brig. Gen. Jason Cothern, Space and Missile Systems Center vice commander and Air Force program executive officer for space enterprise, said in a statement. “This is a great example of using SMC’s small launch contracts to expand our capability to provide reliable assured access to space.”

The NROL-129 mission will use one of Northrop Grumman’s Minotaur IV rockets, which are capable of launching payloads up to 3,814 pounds into low Earth orbit. This is the first time an NRO mission has taken place on a Minotaur IV rocket, although the Air Force previously used them.

“We have successfully launched 26 Minotaur missions with our last Minotaur mission from Wallops in 2013,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Rose, chief of SMC’s Small Launch and Targets Division. “This will be our first U.S. Space Force mission and the first dedicated NRO mission from Wallops. We look forward to continuing to launch national priority satellites for our NRO partner.”


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