A Secret Mission is Born
On Jan. 12, 2018, the U.S. spy satellite NROL-47 launched into space atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. See video of the launch here! See photos from the stunning launch here. This Photo: The liftoff moment for NROL-47 as a secret mission is born.
The Delta IV rocket carrying NROL-47 lifted off at 2:11 p.m. PST (5:11 p.m. EST/2211 GMT) after two days of delays due to weather and technical issues. ULA launched the mission for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.
NROL-47: The Logo
Here's a close look at the NRO's mission emblem for the NROL-47 mission. "It depicts a battle between good and evil and signifies dedication to mission, military expertise and camaraderie," NRO officials wrote in a description of the image. "Mali Nunquam Praevalebunt" is Latin for "Evil will never prevail" and represents NRO's commitment to national security."
A Spy Satellite Ascends
This distant view shows the Delta IV rocket carrying NROL-47 as it ascends into the afternoon sky from its seaside pad at Vandenberg.
Next Stop Space
A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket topped with the NROL-47 payload rises off the pad at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on Jan. 12, 2018.
NROL-47 Spy Satellite Payload Assembly
The classified NROL-47 spy satellite, encapsulated in its protective payload fairing, is seen before being attached to its Delta IV rocket for a launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Ready to Fly
A Delta IV rocket stands ready to launch the NROL-47 mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base's Space Launch Complex-6.
Mobile Service Tower Rollback: NROL-47
The Mobile Service Tower is rolled back from a Delta IV rocket at Space Launch Complex-6. The Delta IV Med+ (5,2) rocket will launch the NROL-47 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office.
Rocket in Twilight
The glow of twilight offers a stunning backdrop for the United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket carrying NROL-47.
Lit for Launch
Floodlights illuminate the Delta IV rocket ahead of the NROL-47 launch on Jan. 12, 2018.
NROl-47: The Poster
The mission poster for the ULA Delta IV rocket mission launching the classified NROL-47 spy satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.