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Titan Launches Classified NRO Satellite

A Titan 4B successfully launched a classified satellite from Vandenberg AFB, pad SLC 4E, at 2121 UTC (2:21 p.m. PDT) on October 5. The US$350 million launch placed a satellite into sun-synchronous low-Earth-orbit for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

Analysts report the satellite is most likely an imaging spacecraft, possibly a KeyHole satellite. KeyHole satellites are thought to be built by Lockheed Martin or TRW. KeyHole satellites resemble the Hubble Space Telescope with a long barrel and solar wings. They have a propulsion module with propellant for orbital maneuvering. It is possible this a totally new satellite.

 

 


Copyright 2001 - Andrews Space & Technology
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October 5, 2001

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