US: The US launched a new classified radar imaging satellite that can see at night and through bad weather, allowing American intelligence agencies to spy on countries of interest. An unmanned rocket blasted off from the California coast carrying a clandestine new spy satellite, NROL-25, for the US military.
The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta 4 rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on a mission to orbit the classified satellite for the US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
Speaking to Space.com, Jim Sponnick, Vice President of mission operation for ULA said, “Congratulations to the NRO and to all the mission partners involved in this critical national security launch. ULA is proud to have supported this mission and delivered critical capabilities to the men and women defending our freedom throughout the world.”
The successful launch is the first of four spy satellite missions to be launched for the NRO this year. In 2011, the NRO launched six reconnaissance spacecraft in seven months. In 2012, the agency aims to launch the four new satellites in 2012 within the span of five months.