SLD 45 hosts media round-table for 99th NSSL launch

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  • By Senior Airman Samuel Becker

U.S. Space Force leadership and launch mission partners held a media round-table with media outlets to discuss the SILENTBARKER/NROL-107 mission at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, Aug. 28, 2023.  

U.S. Space Force Lt. Gen. Michael Guetlein, Space Systems Command commander, Tory Bruno, United Launch Alliance chief executive officer, and Christopher Scolese, National Reconnaissance Office director, answered questions regarding the upcoming mission aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas-V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at CCSFS scheduled no earlier than August 29, 2023. This will be the 99th National Security Space Launch, a USSF program that enables acquisition of launch services to assure access to space for U.S. Department of Defense and other government payloads.

“With space becoming an increasingly congested and contested environment, our partnerships with external stakeholders have never been more crucial,” said Guetlein. “The NRO stands as one of our key partners allowing us to achieve a competitive endurance and advantage in space.”

SILENTBARKER/NROL-107 is a joint NRO and USSF Space Domain Awareness mission to meet the DoD and Information Community protection needs.

“This mission serves as a vigilant watchdog in geosynchronous orbit ensuring we monitor both expected movements and unexpected threats, safeguarding our high-value assets and allies' interests from 24,000 miles away,” said Scolese.

NRO and USSF have been collaborating on SDA to enable effective defense of space capabilities.

“This is the power of our system of partnerships that exists between industry and ability to invest and innovate,” said Bruno. “Combined with the military and needs we strive to support, this allows us to get in front of adversaries when they threaten us in the space domain.”

SILENTBARKER/NROL-107 will be the 18th and final NRO Atlas V launching from CCSFS.