The National Reconnaissance Office successfully launched the NROL-87
mission aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-4E located at
Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 12:27 p.m. PST. NROL-87 is the 60th launch
since NRO began publicly disclosing launches in December 1996.

The Falcon 9 delivered a national security payload to orbit before the reusable rocket booster
safely landed at Landing Zone 4. NROL-87 is designed, built, and operated by the NRO to
support its overhead reconnaissance mission. NROL-87 is the NRO’s first launch this year and
follows eight launches and 16 payloads placed on orbit in the past 24 months.

“The success of NROL-87 was the result of multiple partnerships and the innovation of our
people,” said NRO Director Dr. Chris Scolese. “Technology is ever changing. The relationships
we build enable us to recognize solutions faster to ensure we field the latest capabilities. Our
people continue to prove they are our greatest asset, solving the most complex problems in new
and innovative ways.”

NROL-87 is the NRO’s third launch from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket but the first Falcon 9
procured from the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) contract. NSSL, a government
launch acquisition program aimed at ensuring continued access to space for national security
missions, is overseen and operated through U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command
headquartered at Los Angeles Air Force Base in California. Along with SSC, additional mission
partners supporting today’s launch include the USSF’s Space Launch Delta 30.

“This launch demonstrates our ability to build the best-in-class systems to protect the United
States and our allies from threats in and from space,” said Col. Chad Davis, director, NRO’s
Office of Space Launch. “Our partners at SpaceX and U.S. Space Force were vital to the success
of this mission today, and their outstanding capabilities make these highly technical missions
look routine.”

Since 1961, the NRO has pushed the envelope of U.S. space-based intelligence collection with
boldness and ingenuity. Today, NRO’s innovative legacy continues to thrive as it develops,
acquires, launches, and operates the world’s most capable spy satellites. NROL-87 will
strengthen NRO’s ability to provide a wide-range of timely intelligence information to national
decision-makers, warfighters, and intelligence analysts to protect the Nation’s vital interests and
support humanitarian efforts worldwide.

Additional information on upcoming launches will be made available at


For sixty years, the NRO has developed, acquired, launched, and operated the satellites that are
the foundation for America’s advantage and strength in space. Using a diversified architecture
of spacecraft, NRO collects and delivers the best space-based intelligence, surveillance, and
reconnaissance content on the planet. Learn more at