Spaceflight Insider

ULA set for second launch attempt of classified NRO payload

The ULA Atlas V rocket sits on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral LC-41 following its initial scrub due to a tank farm valve problem. Image: Matt Haskell, Spaceflight Insider

United Launch Alliance is set to re-attempt the launch of their Atlas V rocket and its NROL-101 payload for the National Reconnaissance Office on Friday evening. 

Originally slated for launch on November 3, the initial launch attempt was ultimately scrubbed due to an issue with a liquid oxygen tank farm valve, causing a long term hold in the countdown. The issue was eventually resolved, however additional delays were incurred as a result of uncertainty surrounding the path of Tropical Storm Eta.

The launch of the Atlas V rocket in its 531 configuration is currently targeting a 5:13 p.m. (EST) launch time on Friday, November 13, from Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 41. Weather during the launch window, occurring just prior to sunset, is predicted to be 90% chance favorable for launch, with the primary concern being the cumulus cloud rule. In the event of a 24 hour delay, weather conditions decrease slightly, to a 70% chance of launch. For more on the launch, see our earlier pre-launch article.


Matt Haskell is a published aviation and spaceflight photographer and writer based in Merritt Island Florida. Born and raised outside Edwards Air Force Base and NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, he moved to Florida’s Space Coast and began photographing and reporting spaceflight professionally full time in 2018.

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