Atlas V Carrying NRO Payload Takes Flight

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying a classified national security payload for the National Reconnaissance Office successfully launched from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., on Thursday. The 45th Space Wing helped launch NROL-67, the launch’s mission designation, at 1:45 p.m. It was the second Atlas V to take off from Cape Canaveral this year and the 81st overall for ULA, since its establishment in 2006, according to an April 10 release. “I am proud of the persistence and focus of the launch team, the wing, NRO, ULA, and other mission partners to make this launch happen,” said Brig. Gen. Nina Armango, 45th SW commander and the launch decision authority for the mission. “Our entire team worked together flawlessly once again to ensure mission success.” Earlier in the week, officials at nearby Patrick AFB said a tracking radar on the base’s range experienced an electrical short, rendering it inoperable to support the launch. A radar that was in standby was brought back to operational status to support the launch while the other underwent repairs. (ULA release.)