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NROL-9

Titan 404B

United States Air Force

Launch Status
Success

Mission


NROL-9 (Misty 2)

  • Type: Government/Top Secret
  • Orbit: Low Earth Orbit

This satellite is suspected to be a stealthy electro-optical reconnaissance satellite. The program name for developing an stealth IMINT capability is reportedly “Misty”. Hobbyist satellite observers continue to track an object from that launch in a 2700 km × 3100 km, 63.4° orbit, but detailed orbital analysis reveals significant solar radiation pressure perturbations, from an area to mass ratio of about 0.1 m2/kg, 10 to 20 times that of a payload, and more akin to debris or a decoy, can be deduced. It appears to be no more than 5 to 10 m across, and only a few hundred kilograms in mass. If USA 144 is Misty-2, then it is likely to be in a 700 to 800 km, quasi 65° orbit. These orbits are low-drag, so orbit maintenance manoeuvres are not required.

NROL-9 (Misty 2)

Location


Space Launch Complex 4E

Vandenberg SFB, CA, USA

Space Launch Complex 4E has witnessed the launch of 130 rockets, including 130 orbital launch attempts, while Vandenberg SFB, CA, USA, has been the site for 741 rocket launches.

Space Launch Complex 4E

Rocket


Lockheed Martin Titan 404B

Titan IV was a family of heavy-lift space launch vehicles developed by Martin Marietta and operated by the United States Air Force from 1989 to 2005.

Agency


United States Air Force

The United States Air Force (USAF) is the air service branch of the United States Armed Forces, and is one of the eight uniformed services of the United States. Originally created on 1 August 1907, as a part of the United States Army Signal Corps, the USAF was established as a separate branch of the United States Armed Forces in 1947 with the enactment of the National Security Act of 1947.

United States Air Force
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