Atlas V 531 rocket to launch the NROL-101 mission for the NRO

United Launch Alliance (ULA) will use an Atlas V 531 rocket to launch the NROL-101 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Liftoff will occur from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

This will be 141st mission for United Launch Alliance and our 29th for the NRO. It is the 86th Atlas V launch and the 4th in the 531 configuration.


• Rocket: Atlas V 531

• Mission: NROL-101

• Launch Date: Wed., Nov. 4, 2020

• Launch Time: 5:54 p.m. EST (2254 UTC)

• Launch Location: Space Launch Complex-41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.


Atlas V

ULA’s Atlas V rocket is a workhorse for the U.S. military, intelligence community and scientific researchers. Developed as a modular vehicle, each Atlas V is tailored to the needs of its passenger by adding as many as five side-mounted solid rocket boosters for increased lift performance and a variety of available payload fairings in various diameters and lengths to protect satellites during atmospheric ascent. The high-energy Centaur upper stage, which has been used to send spacecraft to every planet in our solar system, is incorporated into Atlas V to deliver the payloads to their intended destinations.


When the United States needs eyes and ears in critical places where no human can reach – be it over the most rugged terrain or through the most hostile territory – it turns to the NRO. The NRO is the U.S. government agency tasked with designing, building, launching and maintaining America’s intelligence satellites. Whether creating the latest innovations in satellite technology, contracting with the most cost-efficient industrial suppliers, conducting rigorous launch schedules, or providing the highest-quality products to our customers, the NRO never loses focus on who they are working to protect: our nation and its citizens. Beginning in 1961 to declassification to the public in 1992, the NRO has worked tirelessly to provide the best reconnaissance support possible to the Intelligence Community and Department of Defense.


Source: ULA