Payload hoisted atop Delta for NROL-15


Posted: June 24, 2012

About a month before its scheduled launch, a classified satellite payload already encapsulated in the lengthy nose cone is hoisted into the mobile service gantry and placed atop the United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy rocket at Cape Canaveral's Complex 37.

The bullet-shaped shroud protects the satellite during ascent through Earth's atmosphere and then gets jettisoned to uncover the craft after the threshold the space is reached.

The payload is known only as NROL-15 for the National Reconnaissance Office.

See our Mission Status Center for the latest news on the launch.

Photo credit: United Launch Alliance

Expedition 29 Patch
Space models