God Bless the NRO and Their Contractors

Posted: April 15, 2011 in Songs of Space and Nuclear War
Tags: , , , ,

NROL-34 has left the earth.

With the launch last night of an Atlas V from VAFB’s Space Launch Complex 3-E, the NRO, their contractors, and a large army of space support has capped an unbelievable (by recent U.S. standards) launch campaign.

How unbelievable?  It’s practically cold-warish in its launch tempo.

    NROL-41 mission launched from Vandenberg on 20 Sep 2010 riding on an Atlas V

    NROL-32 launched from Cape Canaveral on 21 Nov 2010 riding on a Delta 4-Heavy

    NROL-49 launched from Vandenberg on 20 Jan 2011 riding on a Delta 4-Heavy

    NROL-66 from Vandenberg on 6 Feb 2011 riding on a Minotaur 1

    NROL-27 from Cape Canaveral on 11 Mar 2011 riding on a Delta 4-Medium

    NROL-34 from Vandenberg on 14 Apr 2011 riding on an Atlas V

This big campaign was do-able based on the timely intersection of boosters, ranges, facilities, people, and spacecraft all being ready; good fortune with weather and the likes; plus, finally the Director’s push to make a big splash (so to speak) during the NRO’s golden anniversary year.

I never thought they’d be able to pull it off; they did.   Hats off (and congratulations) to all!

  1. Bob says:

    Thanks for the compliment. It was exactly 208 days since a particular review for L-41 and the same review for L-34. All of these launches occurred under the same Mission Director and a set of mission managers who have “grown up” together. This is a quiet piece of IC history that many people won’t know about who should. In retrospect, this is the way the Air Force should be operating but doesn’t because of culture and bureaucracy.

  2. […] to consolidate into a single effort.  Has it worked?  Performance and schedule-wise (including the NRO’s just-completed and fantastic launch campaign), yes; cost, no.  Isn’t it intuitive that reducing competition tends to do bad things on […]

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