Saturday, January 22, 2011

First Delta IV Heavy launches from Vandenberg AFB

Blog Ed Note: According to a tweet fom Bob Christie NROL-49's official name on orbit is USA 224, carries and International Designator 2011-002A and Satellite/NORAD Catalog No. 37348.

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- A Delta IV Heavy Launch Vehicle was launched from here Jan. 20.

It was the first Delta IV HLV to be launched from the West Coast of the U.S., and it carried a national security payload for the National Reconnaissance Office.

"The teamwork between the 30th Space Wing, the National Reconnaissance Office, United Launch Alliance and numerous other agencies was outstanding for our first-ever Delta IV HLV from Vandenberg Air Force Base," said Col. Keith Balts, the 30th Space Wing vice commander and launch decision authority. "I'm very proud to be part of the team who worked so hard to make this mission a success."

The Delta IV HLV launched from here is 235 feet tall and produced 2 million pounds of thrust.

More details at