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Successful Rocket Launch at Wallops Island

NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia supported the launch of a Minotaur IV rocket Wednesday, July 15, at 9:46 a.m. EDT from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad 0B on Wallops Island.

The rocket carried four classified payloads for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). The U.S. Space Force (USSF) Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Enterprise Program provided the launch services for this mission. The launch vehicle was built and operated by Northrop Grumman.

This mission, named NROL-129, is the first USSF mission from Wallops Flight Facility and the NRO’s first dedicated launch from Wallops.

Wallops director David Pierce, said, “Today’s successful launch exemplifies NASA’s proud service to NRO and the nation and I want to thank GSFC/WFF employees and all our partners for their hard work in a very dynamic 2020. We look forward to working with NRO, USSF, Virginia Space and Northrop Grumman on future missions from Wallops.”

NROL-129 is the first Minotaur mission from Wallops since 2013 and the second orbital launch from the MARS launch pads in 2020. Minotaur rockets have been launched from Wallops for nearly 14 years.