On Jan. 12, 2018, the U.S. spy satellite NROL-47 launched into space atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Information about its Launch and operation was shrouded in secrecy.
The Delta IV rocket carrying NROL-47 lifted off at 2:11 p.m. PST (5:11 p.m. EST/2211 GMT) after two days of delays due to weather and technical issues. The mission was launched for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.
Not much is revealed about the operation/workings of the NROL-47, but here’s a close look at the mission emblem for the NROL-47 mission.
Amateur observers who monitored the launch at a Dutch tracking station in Leiden, The Netherlands confirmed the spy satellite was in Earth’s orbit, transmitting in the TOPAZ frequency, 2241.52 MHz. The orbit appeared to point to ~1100 km orbital altitude and an orbital inclination of ~105-106 degrees.
How certain are we that the NROL-47 and other spy satellites will be deployed to monitor Nigeria’s elections next month?
Responding to an email by Insider Post, the United States embassy in Abuja declined to comment on the matter, sighting a partial Government shutdown which has affected activities at US Agencies and Foreign Missions.
The operations of the all-powerful Reconn machine is shrouded in secrecy, as with most US spy satellites. However, despite its own secret operations, the NROL-47 is rumored to be an all-seeing eye, from which no secrets are hidden.