Re: NROL 34

Message posted by Peter Merlin on April 16, 2011 at 12:25:28 PST:

Tony Moore and I were at Vandenberg for the launch. It was truly spectacular, thanks to excellent weather conditions and the fact that it was a night launch. We were surprised at the extreme southern trajectory. It looked like it was headed for Los Angeles.

The rocket configuration was a little unusual in that it had a single solid-fuel booster strapped to the base of the first stage instead of the usual multiples of two or three. The asymmetrical configuration was the result of needing just a little extra thrust during the first 90 seconds following liftoff. Two booster would have been too much, plus adding cost and complexity to the operation.

In keeping with tradition for such missions, both the payload and its booster have nicknames. The NROL-34 payload is named after Odin, the Norse god of war. Odin was also associated with wisdom and possessed two ravens that informed him of all happenings around the world. In Norse mythology, Odin had only one eye because he sacrificed the other in order to drink from the fountain of wisdom. The Atlas rocket bears the name of Odin’s wife, Frigga, who was said to have the gift of prophecy but who never revealed her secret knowledge. The NROL-34 mission motto is, “Wisdom imparts strength. Strength defends freedom.”

In Reply to: NROL 34 posted by 9thLife on April 14, 2011 at 21:12:50 PST:


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