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21-Jan-07 | NRO L-21 may have failed

Reuters reports that a National Reconnaissance Office satellite, believed to be the one launched in December by the most recent Delta II, has suffered “a comprehensive failure” and is likely to be a complete loss. According to the article, “U.S. officials were working to reestablish contact with the satellite because of the importance of the new technology it was meant to test and demonstrate,” although what this new technology may be remains wholly unspecified. Because the Delta rocket delivered the spacecraft into its appropriate orbit, and the failure lies within the payload hardware, the launch is still considered a success.

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