The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) was proud to support its second dedicated launch out of NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, in partnership with NASA Wallops, Northrop Grumman, Virginia Space, and the U.S. Space Force Space and Missile Systems Center.

The NROL-111 mission carried three payloads designed, built and operated by the agency and launched aboard a Northrop Grumman Minotaur I rocket NET June 15, 2021 from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad 0B. NROL-111 supports NRO’s overall national security mission to provide intelligence data to United States’ senior policy makers, the Intelligence Community and Department of Defense.

NROL-111 Mission Emblem

About the Mission Emblem

The NROL-111 mission patch shows a flying wild boar in traditional aviator gear. Boars are a good spirit guide to call on when you have ambitious goals, and inspire tenacity in the hunt to achieve them. The three stars represent the three payloads designed, built, and operated by NRO.

Launch Vehicle

Minotaur I

Northrop Grumman logo Minotaur I is a four-stage solid fuel space launch vehicle utilizing Minuteman rocket motors for its first and second stages, reusing motors that have been decommissioned as a result of arms reduction treaties. The Stage 3 and 4 motors are the Orion 50XL and Orion 38, respectively. Minotaur I is capable of launching payloads up to 580 kg (1,278 lbs) into low Earth Orbit. To date, Minotaur I has conducted 11 missions with a 100% success rate, delivering 62 satellites into orbit.

Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman Minotaur rockets have 100% success rate, launching missions out of every major U.S. spaceport. Under the U.S. Space Force Orbital/Suborbital Program-3 (OSP-3) contract, Northrop Grumman integrates, tests and provides space launch services for the Minotaur I, IV, V, and VI family of rockets. The OSP-3 contract is managed by the Launch Enterprise Small Launch and Targets Division, which is part of U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC).

Minotaur One Illustration

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National Reconnaissance Office - Above and Beyond