The National Reconnaissance Office successfully launched the NROL-91 mission aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California on September 24, 2022. NROL-91 was NRO’s fifth launch of 2022 and is part of more than a half-dozen planned launches for the year.

NROL-91 Mission Emblem

About the Mission Emblem

The NROL-91 Logo was designed to pay tribute to those brave individuals who sacrificed and laid it all on the line in the fight to preserve our freedom. In particular, it honors the heroism of our diminishing group of World War II Veterans.

The American officer is modeled after Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe, who was aptly referred to as Gen. “Nuts” McAuliffe. Gen. McAuliffe was later awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by Gen. Patton for his actions at Bastogne. The combined NROL-91 team embrace the indefatigable “no surrender” attitude of the Battered Bastards of Bastogne and honor their selfless sacrifice and lost comrades who gave all in the defense of our freedom.

Another major design feature within the logo is an image of a Bailey Bridge with tanks rolling over it. The Bailey Bridge was first used in WWII and directly contributed to many of Allied successes due to its portability and strength, proving strong enough to carry tanks. The NROL-91 logo includes the image of the Bailey Bridge to symbolize the ability to overcome and adapt at a moment’s notice in the presence of adversity. There is also a bird of prey in the background across the US flag, known for their strength, endurance, and protective nature; many traits inherent in our American Warfighters.

Along with the standard mission number, launch base, and booster type, the words “Dedicated to the Great Task Remaining…” are emblazoned around the seal. This short phrase derives from President Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address, in which he called upon his fellow citizens to take up the great cause for liberty initially put forward by our Forefathers in 1776. We dedicate this mission to protecting our Warfighters deployed in harm’s way and to the furtherance of that noble cause. Download the NROL-91 Poster.

Launch Vehicle

Delta IV Heavy

United Launch Alliance logo United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV Heavy is a heavy-lift launch vehicle, the largest type of the Delta IV family and one of the world’s most powerful rockets. The Delta IV Heavy configuration is comprised of a common booster core (CBC), a cryogenic upper stage and a 5-meter diameter payload fairing (PLF). The Delta IV Heavy employs two additional CBCs as liquid rocket boosters to augment the first-stage CBC. The Delta IV Heavy can lift 28,370 kg (62,540 lbs) to low Earth orbit and 13,810 kg (30,440 lbs) to geostationary transfer orbit. It is an all liquid-fueled rocket, consisting of an upper stage, one main booster and two strap-on boosters.

Payload Fairing (PLF)

The PLF encapsulates the spacecraft to protect it from the launch environment on ascent. The 19.2-m (63-ft) long PLF makes the vehicle’s height approximately 71.0 m (233 ft).

Delta Cryogenic Second Stage (DCSS)

The DCSS is a cryogenic liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen fueled vehicle, with a single RL10C-2-1 engine that produces 110.1 kilo-Newtons (24,750 lbs) of thrust.


The Delta IV booster propulsion is provided by three liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen-burning RS-68A engines. Each RS-68A engine produces 312.3 kilo-Newtons (705,250 lbs) of thrust for a combined total liftoff thrust of more than 2.1 million pounds.

Site Info

NROL-91 has launched from Space Launch Complex 6 (SLC-6) at Vandenberg Space Force Base, California. The first launch from SLC-6 was on an Athena I rocket in August 1995. In 2000, United Launch Alliance took over SLC-6 and re-fitted it to serve as the west coast home for the Delta IV launch vehicle family with modifications to the Assembly Building, Mobile Service Tower, Launch Tower, and other support structures.

Delta 4 Heavy Illustration
Download the NROL-91 Press Kit

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