ULA statement: “Initial indications were with a ground system, and we are working to confirm the exact cause."
The hot fire abort of NROL-44 happened three seconds before the Delta 4 Heavy was to lift off.
NROL-44 is the first of the final five missions to be flown by Delta 4 Heavy between now and 2024
Scolese said the NRO "will be able to do more with smaller satellites.”
This was the NRO’s 54th launch since 1996 and its first launch on a Minotaur 4.
A report from Quilty Analytics projects Maxar will retain the bulk of future NRO imagery contracts and emerging competitors Planet and BlackSky will gradually gain market share.
By the end of the year, the National Reconnaissance Office plans to issue “multiple operational commercial imagery contracts to support defense, security and many other U.S. government missions,” said Pete Muend, director of NRO’s Commercial Systems Program Office.
Small satellites and responsive launch are areas of particular interest to the NRO.
Rocket Lab has won contracts from the National Reconnaissance Office for a pair of Electron launches intended to demonstrate the company’s responsive launch capabilities.
LinQuest provides space technology and services to the U.S. military, NASA and intelligence agencies.
Gen. Raymond: "The COVID crisis must not undermine critical space industries."
Brig. Gen. James: GPS links are vulnerable, which is “part of the reason we're concerned about this situation.”
Named “Birds of a Feather,” the mission is scheduled to lift off Jan. 31 from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand.