Press Release

Launch of NROL-129 mission on target for July 15

By SpaceRef Editor
July 13, 2020
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The U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center recently completed its Flight Readiness Review and remains on track to launch the National Reconnaissance Office Launch-129 (NROL-129) mission no earlier than July 15 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) Pad 0B at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

This mission is managed by the SMC Launch Enterprise’s Rocket Systems Launch Program (RSLP) and was awarded under the Orbital/Suborbital Program 3 (OSP-3) Lane 1 capability.

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

“We have successfully launched 26 Minotaur missions with our last Minotaur mission from Wallops in 2013,” stated Lt. Col. Ryan Rose, chief of SMC’s Launch 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.” Rose is responsible for the launch service which includes range support, launch vehicle integration, space vehicle interface and mating, and the launch service for this important mission.

The U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California, is the center of excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. SMC’s portfolio includes space launch, global positioning systems, military satellite communications, a defense meteorological satellite control network, range systems, space-based infrared systems, and space situational awareness capabilities.

SpaceRef staff editor.