The United States National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) plans to launch a classified government payload to space atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. This mission was kept completely secret until a month before its original mid-October target launch date. NRO representatives announced the mission has been rescheduled for next week. –“LAUNCH UPDATE: Our NROL-108 mission launch with SpaceX is now scheduled for NET [no earlier than] Dec. 17 from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A. NROL-108 will launch on a Falcon 9--stay tuned for our mission patch reveal!” the agency wrote via Twitter.
🚀 LAUNCH UPDATE: Our #NROL108 mission launch with @SpaceX is now scheduled for NET Dec. 17 from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A. NROL-108 will launch on a Falcon 9--stay tuned for our mission patch reveal!— NRO (@NatReconOfc) December 4, 2020
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 is set to launch a classified satellite called NROL-108 on Thursday, December 17 - specific liftoff timeframe is still pending. No additional information has been released about the mysterious NROL-108 payload. The military and intelligence agencies routinely put secret satellites and cargo into space without telling the public what its specific purpose is. NRO's national security mission's are designed to provide intelligence data to United States Department of Defense, senior policy makers, as well as other members of the intelligence community. NRO already operates a fleet of satellites that are orbiting Earth.
The NRO has been the nation's eyes and ears in space for almost six decades–developing, launching and operating sophisticated overhead reconnaissance systems to meet the national security needs of the nation.https://t.co/1tEAQB3KQM— NRO (@NatReconOfc) December 10, 2020
"The NRO has been the nation's eyes and ears in space for almost six decades–developing, launching and operating sophisticated overhead reconnaissance systems to meet the national security needs of the nation," the agency stated. The secret NROL-108 payload that SpaceX is scheduled to launch this month could be a satellite that gathers a variety of information and is equipped to take images of Earth to protect the nation. The agency shared a video explaining what NRO's duties are, watch the short video below to learn more about NRO.
Learn About The U.S. National Reconnaissance Office
Featured Image Source: SpaceX
About the Author
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.