ULA Debuts Delta 4 Medium-Plus Rocket in NROL-25 Launch
United Launch Alliance (ULA) has successfully launched a covert payload for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) from the Vandenberg Air Force Base on a Delta 4 rocket as part of the classified NROL-25 million, ULA confirmed April 4.
The launch represented ULA’s maiden mission for the Delta 4 Medium-Plus configured rocket. ULA also used certain legacy components of the vehicle, such as a five-meter upper stage and twin boosters.
“Today's successful launch is a tribute to the hard work and ingenuity of our government and contractor team and I am very proud of them. After the six successful launches last year, our 50th anniversary year, we proved tonight we can continue that hitting streak as we work to deliver superior vigilance from above for the nation," said Col. James D. Fisher, director of the NRO's Office of Space Launch.
The agency has three more launches scheduled for 2012: the first on an Atlas 5; the second on a Delta 4-Heavy from Cape Canaveral in late June; and a third on an Atlas 5 from the West Coast in early August.