Author Topic: NROL codenames  (Read 57982 times)

Online William Graham

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Re: NROL codenames
« Reply #30 on: 05/13/2008 07:23 PM »
Quote
WHAP - 13/5/2008  6:17 PM

The Joker patch is for Titan/Centaur-13 (Titan 4 A21/K21), which was a Milstar launch on 11/6/95.  It is not NROL-2.

What's with the difference in designations?

Quote
WHAP - 13/5/2008  6:17 PM

The Sugar Daddy patch is for Titan/Centaur-16 (Titan 4 A17/K20).  This was not a Milstar launch.  It occurred on 11/7/97.

Are you sure? I've already seen two patches for that launch. I would say the number looks more like a 15, not a 16, but it is hard to read given the low quality of the image.


Thanks for your help.

Offline WHAP

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Re: NROL codenames
« Reply #31 on: 05/13/2008 08:42 PM »
If it's T/C-15, it was on Titan 4 A16/K16, also not a Milstar mission.  I forgot what the Titan "K" designators represented; the A represents the Titan 4 model (the B model had upgraded SRM's and avionics, I think).

Online William Graham

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Re: NROL codenames
« Reply #32 on: 05/30/2008 10:05 PM »
Looks like I was wrong about L-6.

L-6 was USA-139, L-11 was USA-152.

I'm not sure which designation applies to Mercury-3.

Offline dchill

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Re: NROL codenames
« Reply #33 on: 05/30/2008 10:43 PM »
What's with the difference in designations?

Are you sure? I've already seen two patches for that launch. I would say the number looks more like a 15, not a 16, but it is hard to read given the low quality of the image.


Thanks for your help.
I'm pretty sure we called that one "Sweet 16" as in a young girl's 16th birthday - hence the "How Sweet it is" and the "Sugar Daddy" references.  I didn't work that mission (since it flew with the older Centaur avionics?) so I didn't get the patch.

Online William Graham

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Re: NROL codenames
« Reply #34 on: 05/30/2008 11:26 PM »
I'm pretty sure we called that one "Sweet 16" as in a young girl's 16th birthday - hence the "How Sweet it is" and the "Sugar Daddy" references.  I didn't work that mission (since it flew with the older Centaur avionics?) so I didn't get the patch.

Yes "Sweet 16" is on the launch patch. Seems to make sense. I now have three patches associated with that one, did they give the Centaurs their own patches on some flights?

Thanks.

Offline WHAP

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Re: NROL codenames
« Reply #35 on: 05/31/2008 01:48 PM »
Most, if not all, of the Centaurs had their own patch.  I had to go through my stack of T-shirts (I got those in lieu of the patches; the T-shirts are not specifically for the Centaur) and confirmed that this one was TC-15.  It has the Sweet 16 reference, which must be for the Titan booster (Centaur was Sugar Daddy, as shown on the patch).

Both TC-15 and TC-16 flew with the newer avionics.

Offline SFox

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Re: NROL codenames
« Reply #36 on: 06/01/2008 11:11 AM »
NRO L-11 == TITAN IV B-28 Lacrosse-4
e-Bay link
“The NRO was once an intelligence organization at the beginning of the space age; now, it is a space agency in the information age...” ©Robert Kohler

Offline faustod

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Re: NROL codenames
« Reply #37 on: 06/02/2008 08:42 AM »
Now we have:

NROL-1 USA-179 "Nemesis" 31.08.2004 Atlas-2AS AC-167
NROL-2 USA-129 Imp.Crystal 20.12.1996 Titan IVA
NROL-3  ??
NROL-4 USA-136 "Oscar" Trumpet  8.11.1997  Titan IVA/Centaur
NROL-5 USA-137 "Capricorn" 29.01.1998 Atlas 2A AC-109
NROL-6 USA-139 "Jack" Adv.Orion  09.05.1998 Titan IVB/Centaur
NROL-7  ??
NROL-8  ??
NROL-9  ??
NROL-10 USA-155 "Great Bear" 06.12.2000 Atlas 2AS AC-157
NROL-11 USA-152 Lacrosse  17.08.2000  Titan IVB
NROL-12 USA-162 "Aquila" 10.10.2001 Atlas IIAS AC-162
NROL-13 USA-160 " Gemini" 08.09.2001 Atlas 2AS AC-160
NROL-14 USA-161 Imp.Crystal 05.10.2001 Titan 4B
NROL-15 planned
NROL-16 USA-182 Lacrosse 30.04.2005 Titan 4B B-30
NROL-17 USA-158 GeoLITE 18.05.2001 Delta 2
NROL-18 USA-173 "Libra" 02.12.2003 Atlas 2AS AC-164
NROL-19 USA-171 Adv. Orion 09.09.2003 Titan 4B B-36
NROL-20 USA-186 Imp.Crystal 19.10.2005 Titan 4B B-26
NROL-21 USA-193 14.12.2006 Delta 7920
NROL-22 USA-184 Trumpet 28.06.2006 Delta 4M+(4.2)
NROL-23 USA-181 "Canis Minor" 03.02.2005 Atlas 3B AC-206
NROL-24 USA-198 "Scorpius" 10.12.2007 Atlas V401
NROL-25 planned
NROL-26 planned
NROL-27 planned
NROL-28 USA-200 Trumpet 13.03.2008 Atlas V 411 
NROL-29 planned
NROL-30 USA-194 "Pixis" 15.06.2007 Atlas V401

I think that it's very probable that
USA-133 Lacrosse  24.10.1997  Titan IVA  was NROL-3.


Online William Graham

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Re: NROL codenames
« Reply #38 on: 06/02/2008 09:36 AM »
I think that it's very probable that
USA-133 Lacrosse  24.10.1997  Titan IVA  was NROL-3.

I agree that it is probable, but it is not definite. These things do move around - look at L-1.
« Last Edit: 06/02/2008 09:36 AM by GW_Simulations »

Online William Graham

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Re: NROL codenames
« Reply #39 on: 08/04/2009 04:46 PM »
NRO L-49 patch has just appeared on ebay:
http://www.webcitation.org/5imPuwg3q (I've archived the URL as ebay don't keep pages for too long).

Much more interesting than some of the recent ones in terms of "clues" to the payload. A bird (presumably a phoenix) is rising out of a fire at the bottom of the patch. Fourteen stars are clearly visible, ten on a US flag in the background, and four at the bottom of the patch. What I believe is a fifteenth star is partially obscured by the bird's wing. In addition, one of the stars on the US flag appears to be in the bird's beak. The words "melior diabolus quem scies" appear at the top of the patch, which roughly translate as "better the devil you know".

My own assessment of this would be that the phoenix symbolises the NRO's optical reconnaissance programme "rising out of the ashes" of FIA. As I stated previously, it was reported that Improved Crystal production was restarted when FIA was cancelled, and I had previously suspected that L-49 might be an Improved Crystal. The latin phrase seems to support this theory. Also, if this is an Improved Crystal, it would be the fifteenth launch of a KH-11 series satellite (including the ones sometimes identified as KH-12, and excluding both Misty satellites). One of the earlier KH-11 launches failed, so the fifteen stars could represent the fifteen launches, with the obscured one representing the failure. The star that appears to be in the bird's beak could represent NRO L-49, being "carried" to orbit (I'm fairly sure that symbolism has been used before). Finally, the shape of the phoenix's wings is similar to the shape of a symbol which appeared on the NRO L-14 patch, which is believed to have been an Improved Crystal launch.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: NROL codenames
« Reply #40 on: 08/10/2009 02:45 PM »
A tip of the hat to GW_Simulations for the info:

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1437/1


Online William Graham

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Re: NROL codenames
« Reply #41 on: 01/22/2011 07:27 PM »
It's been a while since this was updated, and Jonathan McDowell seems to have identified the four missing satellites, so here is a new list:


NROL-1 "Nemesis"      - USA-179 - SDS      - 31.08.2004 - Atlas IIAS       - CCAFS
NROL-2                - USA-129 - KH-11    - 20.12.1996 - Titan IV(404)A   - VAFB
NROL-3                - USA-133 - Lacrosse - 24.10.1997 - Titan IV(403)A   - VAFB
NROL-4 "Oscar"        - USA-136 - Trumpet  - 08.11.1997 - Titan IV(401)A   - CCAFS
NROL-5 "Capricorn"    - USA-137 - SDS      - 29.01.1998 - Atlas IIA        - CCAFS
NROL-6 "Jack"         - USA-139 - Mentor   - 09.05.1998 - Titan IV(401)B   - CCAFS
NROL-7 "Elwood"       -         - Mercury  - 12.08.1998 - Titan IV(401)A   - CCAFS
NROL-8                - USA-144 - EIS?     - 22.05.1999 - Titan IV(404)B   - VAFB
NROL-9                -         - STEX     - 03.10.1998 - Taurus 1110      - VAFB
NROL-10 "Great Bear"  - USA-155 - SDS      - 06.12.2000 - Atlas IIAS       - CCAFS
NROL-11               - USA-152 - Onyx     - 17.08.2000 - Titan IV(403)B   - VAFB
NROL-12 "Aquila"      - USA-162 - SDS      - 10.10.2001 - Atlas IIAS       - CCAFS
NROL-13 "Gemini"      - USA-160 - NOSS     - 08.09.2001 - Atlas IIAS       - VAFB
NROL-14               - USA-161 - KH-11    - 05.10.2001 - Titan IV(404)B   - VAFB
NROL-15               -         - Mentor?  -       2011 - Delta IV-H       - CCAFS

NROL-16 "Prometheus"  - USA-182 - Onyx     - 30.04.2005 - Titan IV(403)B   - CCAFS
NROL-17               - USA-158 - GeoLITE  - 18.05.2001 - Delta II 7925    - CCAFS
NROL-18 "Libra"       - USA-173 - NOSS     - 02.12.2003 - Atlas IIAS       - VAFB
NROL-19 "Homer"       - USA-171 - Mentor   - 09.09.2003 - Titan IV(401)B   - CCAFS
NROL-20               - USA-186 - KH-11    - 19.10.2005 - Titan IV(404)B   - VAFB
NROL-21               - USA-193 - Tech     - 14.12.2006 - Delta II 7920    - VAFB
NROL-22               - USA-184 - Trumpet  - 28.06.2006 - Delta IV-M+(4,2) - VAFB
NROL-23 "Canis Minor" - USA-181 - NOSS     - 03.02.2005 - Atlas IIIB       - CCAFS
NROL-24 "Scorpius"    - USA-198 - SDS      - 10.12.2007 - Atlas V 401      - CCAFS
NROL-25 "Altair"      -         - NOSS??   -       2012 - Delta IV-M+(5,2) - VAFB

NROL-26               - USA-202 - Mentor   - 18.01.2009 - Delta IV-H       - CCAFS
NROL-27 "Gryphon"     -         - SDS?     -       2011 - Delta IV-M+(4,2) - CCAFS

NROL-28               - USA-200 - Trumpet  - 13.03.2008 - Atlas V 411      - VAFB
NROL-29               -         -          - cancelled? - Atlas V 501      - VAFB

NROL-30 "Pyxis"       - USA-194 - NOSS     - 15.06.2007 - Atlas V 401      - CCAFS
NROL-31               - Unknown

NROL-32               - USA-223 - Mentor   - 21.11.2010 - Delta IV-H       - CCAFS
NROL-33               - Unknown
NROL-34 "Frigga"      -         - Trumpet? -       2011 - Atlas V 411      - VAFB
NROL-35               - Unknown
NROL-36               - Unknown
NROL-37               -         -          -       2015 - Delta IV-H
NROL-38               - Unknown
NROL-39               -         - FIA-R?   - Unknown    - Atlas V 501      - VAFB
NROL-40               - Unknown

NROL-41 "Gladys"      - USA-215 - FIA-R    - 21.09.2010 - Atlas V 501      - VAFB
NROL-42               - Unknown
NROL-43               - Unknown
NROL-44               - Unknown
NROL-45               -         - FIA-R?   - Unknown    - Atlas V 501      - VAFB
NROL-46               - Unknown
NROL-47               - Unknown
NROL-48               - Unknown

NROL-49 "Betty"       - USA-224 - KH-11    - 20.01.2011 - Delta IV-H       - VAFB
NROL-50               - Unknown
NROL-51               - Unknown
NROL-52               - Unknown
NROL-53               - Unknown
NROL-54               - Unknown
NROL-55               - Unknown
NROL-56               - Unknown
NROL-57               - Unknown
NROL-58               - Unknown
NROL-59               - Unknown
NROL-60               - Unknown
NROL-61               - Unknown
NROL-62               - Unknown
NROL-63               - Unknown
NROL-64               - Unknown
NROL-65               - Unknown
NROL-66               -         -         -       2011 - Minotaur I       - VAFB



Launches in italics have not yet taken place
« Last Edit: 01/22/2011 07:56 PM by GW_Simulations »

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: NROL codenames
« Reply #42 on: 01/22/2011 07:43 PM »
NROL-49 "Betty"       - USA-224 - KH-11    - 20.01.2011 - Delta IV-H       - CCAFS

It was only the day before yesterday so I don't think my memory has gone yet - it didn't look much like CCAFS to me.   ;)

Online William Graham

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Re: NROL codenames
« Reply #43 on: 01/22/2011 07:57 PM »
NROL-49 "Betty"       - USA-224 - KH-11    - 20.01.2011 - Delta IV-H       - CCAFS

It was only the day before yesterday so I don't think my memory has gone yet - it didn't look much like CCAFS to me.   ;)

That was a typo, and has been corrected.

Offline snowhole

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Re: NROL codenames
« Reply #44 on: 01/24/2011 03:44 AM »
Sorry if I'm asking in the wrong place. Do we have a thread of NRO L-66 launch? Can't seem to find it here or in the Orbital board. Cheers.

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