It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
(visit the link for the full news article)
A trailblazing payload for the National Reconnaissance Office successfully rocketed into orbit on a Minotaur 1 booster Sunday, beginning a secret mission testing new ways to collect intelligence from space.
The mission was codenamed NROL-66 in the agency's rocket acquisition naming system. The payload is also called RPP, which is short for Rapid Pathfinder Program.
The U.S. spy satellite agency hasn't revealed what techniques or sensors the craft will test in space. Its cost, contractor and size are also secret.
But the lightweight payload launched on a Minotaur 1 rocket, the smallest booster used by the NRO since the agency's existence was declassified in 1992. The Minotaur's nose cone can fit a spacecraft as large as a kitchen refrigerator, and the four-stage rocket can haul nearly 1,000 pounds into low-altitude polar orbits.
The Latin words “melior diabolus quem scies” are inscribed on the patch. This roughly translates to mean “the devil you know,” as in the phrase “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.”
Originally posted by BobbyTarass
There is a scent of Cold War between China and the USA lately.
Private industry could be prepared to go where NASA fears to tread and develop a spaceplane to replace the space shuttle and ferry crews to and from the International Space Station. But if industry succeeds, it will be thanks to decades of work by the space agency on lifting-body reentry vehicles
Originally posted by Rockdisjoint
Amazing pics! We've been launching a lot of stuff up into space lately, makes me wonder...........