NROL-70 (Delta IV-Heavy)
9 April 2024
Space Launch Complex 37
Cape Canaveral Space Force Station

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV-Heavy rocket launched the NROL-70 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 12:53 p.m. on 9 April 2024. This is the 16th and final launch of a Delta IV-Heavy rocket.

According to ULA, "The NRO develops and operates the world’s most capable and innovative overhead reconnaissance systems to collect intelligence for U.S. national security, and to support disaster relief and humanitarian efforts.

The NROL-70 mission will strengthen the NRO’s ability to provide a wide-range of timely intelligence information to national decision makers, warfighters, and intelligence analysts to protect the nation’s vital interests and support humanitarian efforts worldwide."


Delta IV-Heavy

Payload Fairing
The payload fairing (PLF) is a metallic trisector (three-piece shell), 5- meter diameter fairing. The PLF encapsulates the spacecraft to protect it from the launch environment on ascent. The vehicle’s height, with the 65-ft (19.8-m) long PLF, is approximately 235 ft (71.6 m).

Delta Cryogenic Second Stage (DCSS)
The Delta Cryogenic Second Stage is a cryogenic liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen-fueled vehicle, powered by a single RL10C-2-1 engine that produces 24,750 lbs (110.1 kilo-Newtons) of thrust. The DCSS propellant tanks are structurally rigid and constructed of formed aluminum plate, spun-formed aluminum domes and aluminum ring forgings. The tanks are insulated with a spray-on insulation and helium-purged insulation blankets. An equipment shelf attached to the aft dome of the DCSS liquid oxygen tank provides the structural mountings for vehicle electronics.

The three Delta IV Heavy common booster core (CBC) tanks are structurally rigid and constructed of isogrid aluminum barrels, spun- formed aluminum domes and machined aluminum tank skirts. Delta IV booster propulsion is provided by the throttleable RS-68A engine system which burns cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, with each of the three booster engines delivering 705,250 lbs (312.3 kilo- Newtons) of thrust at sea level. The booster’s cryogenic tanks are insulated with a combination of spray-on and bond-on insulation and helium-purged insulation blankets. The booster is controlled by the DCSS avionics system, which provides guidance, flight control.

NROL-70 mission flight profile.
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