United States : US SPY Satellite launched into orbit [TendersInfo (India)]
(TendersInfo (India) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) On Wednesday, a massive rocket which carries a new U.S. spy satellite lifted off from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base. The satellite is designated NROL-65. The three-booster Delta-IV rocket used to send it aloft Wednesday is the heaviest in the U.S. inventory, which can put a 25-ton payload into low Earth orbit. NRO Director Betty Sapp told a congressional committee in April that it's one of two launches the top-secret National Reconnaissance Office has on the books for late 2013.
The payload in Wednesday's launch is thought to be "a $1-billion high-powered spy satellite capable of snapping pictures detailed enough to distinguish the make and model of an automobile hundreds of miles below. The 232-foot-tall booster was developed by the U.S. Air Force and the United Launch Alliance, which is a joint venture between aerospace giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
NROL-65 is the second launch from Vandenberg of the Delta IV Heavy. The first was in January 2011.
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