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15-Dec-06 | Delta flight 322 – NRO L-21

A two-stage Delta II launched from Vandenberg AFB on 14 December 2006, carrying a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. This was the first Delta launch for NRO since 2001’s GeoLITE, and Jonathan McDowell sums up the public’s knowledge of L-21 thusly: “In contrast to most secret launches, analysts appear to have little clue as to what this payload may be.” (JSR 575) This marked the first launch to be managed by the new United Launch Alliance, a joint effort of Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Spaceflight Now filed a mission status report.


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