The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) was proud to support its first 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 System Center.

The NROL-129 mission carried four payloads designed, built and operated by the agency and launched aboard a Northrop
Grumman Minotaur IV rocket NET July 15, 2020 from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0B. NROL-129 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-129 will be NRO’s 54th launch since 1996 and its first
launch on a Minotaur IV.

About the Mission Emblem

The mission is represented by two launch patches featuring two warrior figures working together to defend our
nation’s interests and deny our enemies sanctuary. The patches include the phrase “Our Time has Come,” which
symbolizes that these payloads will enable the NRO’s continued support to both defense and intelligence operations
in support of national security.

Launch Vehicle

Minotaur IV

Northrop Grumman logo
Minotaur IV has four stages; the first three stages utilize government-furnished solid rocket motors from
decommissioned Peacekeeper ICBMs. The commercial solid rocket upper stage is an Orion 38. Minotaur IV is capable
of launching payloads up to 1,730 kg (3,814 lb.) to low Earth orbit; Minotaur IV made its maiden flight on 22 April 2010.

Northrop Grumman

To date, Northrop Grumman Minotaur rockets have completed 26 missions out of every major U.S. spaceport with 100%
success. Under the U.S. Air Force Orbital/ Suborbital Program-3 (OSP-3) contract, Northrop Grumman integrates,
tests and provides space launch services for the Minotaur I, IV, V, VI and C family of rockets. The OSP-3 contract
is managed by the Rocket Systems Launch Program, which is part of U.S. Space Force and Missile Systems Center (SMC).
OSP-3 expands on OSP-2 by continuing to use excess ICBM motors, and includes potential Evolved Expendable Launch
Vehicle new entrant launch vehicles. The OSP-3 contract allows for an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity with
a $900M ceiling based on a firm fixed price service contract strategy.

Site Info

NROL-129 launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) Launchpad 0B. The MARS launch complex is located
adjacent to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility (WFF), in Wallops Island, Virginia. WFF previously ran the complex until
2003, and under a contract with the Commonwealth of Virginia continues to provide various support services to MARS
launches. Today, the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority, a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of
Virginia known as ‘Virginia Space’, owns and operates MARS. The MARS launch complex consists of three individual
launch pads, LP-0A, LP- 0B, and Launch Complex-2. LP-0B became operational in 1999, and was subsequently upgraded
in 2003 with the construction of a mobile service tower completed in 2004.

Minotaur Four Illustration

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More on the Mission
National Reconnaissance Office - Above and Beyond