ULA United Launch Alliance successfully launched the NROL-44 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office at 8:09 PM EST from launch complex 37 Cape Canaveral Florida on 12-10-2020.

At the edge of space this Delta Heavy rocket jettisoned the tri sector aluminum fairing protecting the NRO listening spy satellite during ascent through the atmosphere and was traveling at 15 000 mph.

At this point in flight it only weighs 5% of its lift off mass once two side core boosters are jettisoned and most of the fuel is burnt off.

A truly spectacular sight to behold tonight.

Congratulations to ULA and CEO Tory Bruno and team for this stunning launch.

All remote cameras functioned which was an added bonus for this launch.

Photo Credit: Scott Schilke for spacenews.lu and space-news.es

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