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The NRO have announced that the launch “will carry a classified payload designed, built and operated” by the National Reconnaissance Office. This could be an indication that the spacecraft is not part of one of the agency’s existing payload classes, which are believed to be mostly constructed by defense contractors.

This suggests that the payload could either be the first of a new series of satellite or – more likely – a technology demonstration mission. The NRO has occasionally launched spacecraft dedicated to research and development, most recently the Rapid Pathfinder Program (RPP) satellite launched as NROL-66 in February 2011.

Alternate Names

    Facts in Brief

    Launch Date: 2017-05-01
    Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9 Full Thrust
    Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States

    Funding Agency

    • National Reconnaissance Office (United States)


    • Other

    Additional Information

    Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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