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  • Space Launch Delta 30 Public Affairs

Team Vandenberg is scheduled to launch a National Reconnaissance Office mission (NROL-85) aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-4 East at Vandenberg Space Force Base Friday, April 15, with a launch period opening at 5:59 a.m. to 7:25 a.m. Pacific Time.

Col. Rob Long, Space Launch Delta 30 commander, will be the launch decision authority.

NROL-85 is the first NRO mission to reuse a SpaceX rocket booster. NROL-87, launched only two months earlier, was the first NRO launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket intended to be reused for a future mission.

NROL-85 is the second Falcon 9 launch procured through the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) contract to launch from the Western Range. Following the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 the mission’s first stage will return to land on Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg Space Force Base.

Upon re-entry of the vehicle, spectators and local residents from Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties can anticipate hearing multiple sonic booms as the vehicle breaks the sound barrier.

A sonic boom is the sound associated with the shock waves from an aircraft or launch vehicle traveling faster than the speed of sound. Sonic booms generate a sound similar to an explosion or a clap of thunder and the degree experienced will depend on weather conditions and other factors.

For questions on the NROL-85 mission, contact NRO Public Affairs at

For questions regarding the launch period or Vandenberg SFB range operations, contact Space Launch Delta 30 Public Affairs at 805-606-3595 or

For queries regarding the SpaceX Falcon 9 mission, contact the SpaceX Communication Lead at