United Launch Alliance (ULA) is set to launch the SILENTBARKER/NROL-107 mission, a collaborative effort between the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the U.S. Space Force (USSF).
The mission aims to enhance space domain awareness and is scheduled for liftoff on August 29, 2023, at 8:34 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
SILENTBARKER is a joint Space Domain Awareness (SDA) mission by the NRO and Space Force. It is designed to meet the Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community (IC) space protection needs.
The mission will provide the capability to search, detect, and track objects from space-based sensors, overcoming limitations of existing ground sensors. It aims to enable timely decision-making and unity of effort to defend DoD and IC critical capabilities against current and projected threats.
The mission will utilize space-based sensors to collect 24-hour above-the-weather satellite metric data, which will then be communicated to satellite operators, analysts, and other mission users.
This program element includes efforts related to SILENTBARKER, its integration into the broader space superiority architecture, and analysis and experimentation to ensure space-based space surveillance capabilities against evolving threats.
This launch marks the 57th Atlas V launch in service to national security and the 18th mission for the NRO. The NRO has utilized the Atlas V rocket’s full spectrum of configurations to successfully place missions in space.
The mission is encapsulated in a 17.7-ft diameter short payload fairing and will be powered by an Atlas V 551 rocket. The Centaur second stage is 10 ft in diameter and 41.5 ft in length, fueled with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. The booster is 12.5 ft in diameter and 106.5 ft in length, powered by the RD-180 engine system.
The SILENTBARKER mission is a significant step in strengthening the nation’s space domain awareness and defense capabilities. As threats in space continue to evolve, missions like SILENTBARKER are crucial for national security and the protection of critical assets.