Share this on:
About this iReport
  • Not vetted for CNN

  • Click to view kattmann's profile
    Posted December 6, 2013 by

    More from kattmann

    Spy Satellite Launch carries hitchhikers

    An Atlas 5 rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Complex 3 Thursday night at 11:39pm, PDT. The rocket, designated NROL-39 carried a primary classified payload for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office and a secondary payload of 12 special satellite packages

    Hitching a ride on the Atlas 5 were 12 CubeSats or Nano satellites from the following schools and agencies:

    • AeroCube5, Aerospace Corp
    • ALICE, Air Force Institute of Technology
    • CUNYSAT-1, Medgar Evers College, City University of New York
    • FIREBIRD, Montana State University, University of New Hampshire, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Aerospace Corp
    • IPEX, California Polytechnic State University and PolySat
    • MCubed-2, Michigan eXploration Laboratory
    • SMDC-ONE (Charlie), SMDC-ONE (David), SNaP
    • TacSat-6, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command

    Nanosatellites are small satellites weighing ten pounds or less and some are as small as a human hand. The nanosatellite program is sponsored by the NRO's Mission Integration Directorate and NASA's Educational Launch of Nanosatellites, or ELaNa program.

    Another unusual aspect of tonight’s launch is that the flight path was in a southwest direction for a retrograde orbit of the payloads. This type of flight path places the payloads moving opposite to the earth’s rotation.

    The launch was visible through most of Southern California and Mexico.

    What do you think of this story?

    Select one of the options below. Your feedback will help tell CNN producers what to do with this iReport. If you'd like, you can explain your choice in the comments below.
    Be and editor! Choose an option below:
      Awesome! Put this on TV! Almost! Needs work. This submission violates iReport's community guidelines.


    Log in to comment

    iReport welcomes a lively discussion, so comments on iReports are not pre-screened before they post. See the iReport community guidelines for details about content that is not welcome on iReport.

    Add your Story Add your Story