Oficina Nacional de Reconocimiento
La Oficina Nacional de Reconocimiento (en inglés: National Reconnaissance Office), también conocida por su acrónimo en inglés, NRO es una agencia federal de Estados Unidos del Gobierno de los Estados Unidos. Se encuentra ubicada en Chantilly, Virginia, y es una de las agencias de la Comunidad de Inteligencia de Estados Unidos (United States Intelligence Community).
The United States‘ National Reconnaissance Operations Center (NROC) is the focal point for the National Reconnaissance Office‘s current operations and for time-sensitive space-borne intelligence reporting for the United States Intelligence Community (USIC). The NROC was created in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks.
NROC serves as a back-up to the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC), located at Vandenberg AFB, California. New York’s 222d Command and Control Squadron(222 CACS) provides personnel augmentation to NROC.
Vista nocturna de la sede de la agencia.
La agencia diseña, construye y opera satélites espía para la obtención de inteligencia que más tarde reparte entre varias agencias gubernamentales, en particular a la división de SIGINT de la Agencia de Seguridad Nacional y la división IMINT de la NGA y la Agencia de Inteligencia de la Defensa.
Inteligencia de Señales (en inglés: Signals Intelligence, SIGINT) es la obtención de información mediante la intercepción de señales, sea entre personas (inteligencia de comunicaciones, en inglés: Communications Intelligence, COMINT), sea sobre señales electrónicas no usadas directamente en comunicaciones (inteligencia electrónica, en inglés: Electronic Intelligence. ELINT), o una combinación de ambas. Como a menudo la información delicada es cifrada, la inteligencia de señales involucra el uso de criptoanálisis. También, el análisis de tráfico, que es estudio de quién está transmitiendo a quién y en con qué frecuencia, a menudo puede producir información valiosa, incluso si los mensajes propiamente tales no pueden ser leídos.
National Security Operations Center (NSOC) in 2012
The National Security Operations Center (NSOC) is the part of the United States National Security Agency responsible for current operations and time-sensitivesignals intelligence (SIGINT) reporting for the United States SIGINT System(USSS)
NSOC is an operations center on a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week basis, providing total situational awareness across the NSA/CSS enterprise for both foreign Signals Intelligence and Information Assurance, maintains cognizance of national security information needs, and monitors unfolding world events.
Imagen de satélite del NRO de Siria en 2012.
Distintos informes han señalado desde la década de 1990 que cuenta con uno de los mayores presupuestos de toda la Comunidad de Inteligencia, a pesar de tener una fuerzas laboral de funcionarios federales muy pequeña, recayendo la mayor parte del trabajo en «decenas de miles» de contratistas privados.4 Además, la mayoría de sus empleados trabajan en la CIA, laNSA, la NGA, la Armada o las Fuerzas Aéreas.
El NRO opera estaciones terrestres en todo el mundo que le permiten recolectar y distribuir información de inteligencia de los satélites de reconocimiento.
Domos de radar en un estación del NRO.
List of NRO Launches
NROL-11 Satellite launched by Titan IVB Rocket. Lacrosse Project, Radar imaging.
National Reconnaissance Office Launch 11, August 2000: This patch, featuring the eyes of what looks like an owl hovering over a darkened planet, could have used some cleaner design. Still, “We Own The Night” is an appropriately terrifying sentiment. Animals in space is beginning to feel like a theme.
This is a patch for a NRO spy-satellite launch. Those familiar with this site will probably recognize this Illuminati 101 symbolism: An unfinished pyramid topped by the All-Seeing Eye. This All-Seeing Eye requires help: it needs spy satellites to be even more all-seeing.
“LMA” at the bottom right most likely refers to Lockheed Martin Aerospace, which is the ultimate Big Brother mega-company working with the CIA, NRO, NSA and IRS.
Above the All-Seeing Eye is written “Supra Summus”, which can be translated to “Most Superior and Highest”, which, if nothing else, indicates a healthy level of self-esteem.
NROL-24 Satellite launched by Atlas V 401 Rocket. Quasar Project Communications.
An Atlas 5 launched a classified spacecraft for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) on Monday evening. The Atlas 5 401 lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 5:05 pm EST (2205 GMT) carrying a spacecraft officially designated NROL-24, also named Scorpius.
Few details about the mission were released, although United Launch Alliance (ULA), the Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture that operates the Atlas 5, announced in a press release a couple hours after the launch that the launch has been a success. Analysts speculate that the payload may be a communications satellite that will operate in an elliptical, inclined Molniya orbit, relaying data from reconnaissance satellites to ground stations. The launch is the fourth for the Atlas 5 this year.
NROL-25 Satellite launched by Delta IVM+(5,2) Rocket. Topaz project Radar Imaging
Whilst its mission is officially classified, NROL-25 is believed to be the second in a series of new radar imaging satellites, developed as part of the NRO’s Future Imagery Architecture programme. The first such satellite, USA-215, was launched in September 2010 by an Atlas V rocket, and is believed to be operational. The FIA Radar, or FIA-R, satellites are replacements for the Lacrosse or Onyx satellites launched between 1988 and 2005.
The original mission patch for NROL-25 featured the name Altair, with depictions of an eagle and a compass, leading to initial speculation that the mission might carry a pair of NOSS naval signals intelligence satellites. This patch appears to have been replaced by one featuring the words “Victoria Commissa Omnibus”, meaning “Committed to victory for all”. There does not appear to be a mission name.
The Delta IV which will be used for the NROL-25 mission is Delta 359, although for the second consecutive launch this number has not been painted on the rocket. According to one of the patches released for the mission, the rocket has been named Electra. The first Delta IV to fly in the Medium+(5,2) configuration, Electra consists of a single Common Booster Core first stage augmented by two GEM-60 solid rocket motors, with a five metre Delta Cryogenic Second Stage (DCSS). The (5,2) is the last of the currently planned Delta IV configurations to make its maiden flight.
NROL-27 Satellite launched by Delta IV M+(4,2) Rocket. Quasar Project Communications
An NRO payload was successfully launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV medium rocket from Space Launch Complex-37, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on March 11, 2011.
This is the fifth in a series of six launches for the 50th anniversary of the NRO.
NROL-32 Satellite launched by Delta IV Heavy Rocket. Orion Project ELINT (Electronic signals intelligence)
El Ejército estadounidense ha lanzado el mayor satélite espía del mundo. Se sabe que el NROL-32 es un satélite geoestacionario cuya misión es dar apoyo a la defensa nacional, pero pocos detalles más han trascendido puesto que se trata de una operación secreta.
Eso sí, para hacerse una idea de su tamaño, el satélite ha viajado en el cohete Delta IV, el más potente del mundo para vuelos no tripulados actualmente en servicio, con 72 metros de altura y un empuje de 907 toneladas.
El satélite lleva una gran antena colectiva útil para el espionaje electrónico, que lo convierte en el mayor de los satélites puestos en órbita. El NROL-32 fue enviado con éxito a las 5.58 de la mañana (hora local) el domingo desde la base aérea militar de Cabo Cañaveral en un cohete Delta IV, informó la United Launch Alliance (ULA) en un comunicado. Se trata del cuarto lanzamiento de un Delta IV Heavy, el cohete con mayor capacidad de carga útil actualmente en servicio. “El lanzamiento es la culminación de años de duro trabajo y dedicación entre la NRO, Air Force y la United Launch Alliance”, afirma en el mismo documento Jim Sponnick, uno de los vicepresidentes de ULA. “ULA está orgullosa de de dar apoyo a la NRO ya que protege la seguridad de nuestra nación”, prosigue.
En un discurso pronunciado en septiembre el director de la Oficina Nacional de Reconocimiento (NRO) Bruce Carlson ya adelantó que el Delta IV llevaría este otoño “el satélite más grande del mundo”, que según algunos análisis tendrá la misión de controlar las actividades de los países considerados no aliados por los Estados Unidos. La NRO es una de las 16 agencias de inteligencia que tiene Estados Unidos y su principal misión es mantenerse al tanto de las últimas tecnologías espaciales y “vigilar desde arriba”.
Según indica en su página en Internet, se encarga de diseñar, construir y operar los satélites de reconocimiento estadounidenses y de facilitar los servicios de inteligencia por satélite que necesiten la Agencia Central de Inteligencia (CIA) y el Departamento de Defensa. “Esta misión ayudará a asegurar que los recursos vitales del NRO sigan reforzando nuestra defensa nacional”, señaló el general de brigada Ed Wilson, encargado del lanzamiento
NROL-33 Satellite launched by Atlas V Rocket: Quasar Project Communications.
NROL-33 is most likely a Quasar satellite to become a part of the Satellite Data System – a constellation of spacecraft in Geosynchronous Orbit tasked with the relay of data to and from lower orbiting satellites of the National Reconnaissance Office including imaging and electronic intelligence satellites.
No information on mission progress was provided until confirmation of spacecraft separation was announced at T+80 minutes after the satellite was delivered to its target orbit.
NROL-34 Satellite launched by Atlas V 411 Rocket. Intruder Project Naval SIGINT
“This launch supports the military’s national defense mission,” officials with the United Launch Alliance, which orchestrated the satellite launch for the NRO, said in a mission description.
The United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket has performed its twenty-fifth launch, delivering into orbit the classified NROL-34 payload for the US National Reconnaissance Office. The launch took place from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Note how (as with the other mentioned designs) some letter codes are included in the blue “vermicelli” filling the Earth globe: one can recognize “NROL” (bottom), “Frigga” (top) and what could be a name, “Galth” (?), or possibly “Caltech”.
NROL-35 Satellite launched by Atlas V 541 Rocket. Naval SIGINT
The United States military launched its largest spy satellite on the Eastern Coast on Friday amidst a media blackout which left Los Angeles residents confused after the sky was lit up by the launch.
The ultra-secretive NROL-35 mission is the single largest spy launch that has been accomplished on the Western Coast using a massive Atlas V rocket which developed around 2 million pounds of thrust during takeoff.
Taking off at around 7:19pm from Vandenberg Air Force Base the launch was seen by enthusiasts and local residents as the sheer size of the rocket lit up the surrounding night sky.
NROL-35 is the latest rocket to be launched by the National Reconnaissance Office — America’s spy satellite organisation — and while the contents of the spacecraft are always top-secret it’s widely believed that this is the first in a new generation of spy satellites.
NROL-36 Satellite launched by Atlas V401 Rocket. Intruder Project SIGINT.
mission patch contains several interesting symbols. The three rivets and three trails behind the star the bull is stomping on could suggest that it is the third in a series of satellites, and if this were Trumpet, then that would be true. The star with trails behind it has also appeared on both previous Improved Trumpet patches, albeit with four trails, not three.
If it were Trumpet, the seven or eight background stars could correspond to the seven Jumpseat satellites, or the eight unidentified stars on the NROL-4 patch (my guess is that these relate to Jumpseat, plus one more spacecraft – either a Jumpseat that has been misidentified as an SDS, or something else). The three rivets could relate to the three original Trumpet satellites and the three trails to the three current satellites.
The bull’s horns can be interpreted as either a symbol of the NOSS or Trumpet system; two gold horns for two satellites (NOSS), or symbolising a SIGINT antenna (Trumpet).
Overall, NOSS does seem the most likely candidate, but I think it is far from definite.
NROL-38 Satellite launched by Atlas V 401 Rocket. Quasar Project Conmunications.
The official NRO mission patch for the flight has a three headed “Drake” hydra dragon. This is a possible clue that the spacecraft can do more than one thing at a time, just like the differing spacecraft that an SDS spacecraft can serve simultaneously.
Six previous SDS 3 model spacecraft have been launched since 1998. This launch designated NROL-38 is likely bound for 144 deg. W Long. in geosynchronous orbit, according to military space analyst Ted Moltzan. He believes the spacecraft will replace an earlier SDS spacecraft launched by an Atlas IIAS rocket in October, 2001.
Official SDS spacecraft mission patch for the Atlas V mission uses a DRAKE Hydra, a three headed dragon. The three heads could indicate that the SDS satellite serves multiple users. The Latin wording at the bottom right of the patch translates: “You will not die by war.”
the mythical “Anubis”– the Egyptian “God of the Dead”–looms over an Atlas V on the NROL 38 launch patch (below).
NROL-39 Satellite launched by Atlas V 501 Rocket. Topaz Project Radar imaging.
For the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which chose a world-grasping octopus and the slogan “Nothing is Beyond Our Reach” to adorn its latest spy satellite that launched from California on Thursday, the octopus represents “a versatile, adaptable, and highly intelligent creature.”
That’s an accurate description of an octopus as a creature but not of an octopus as a symbol.
While the mission of NROL-39 is classified, it is believed to be a remnant of the Future Imagery Architecture, a program which was described in the New York Times in 2007 as “perhaps the most spectacular and expensive failure in the 50-year history of American spy satellite projects.” In a recent interview with the BBC, Glenn Greenwald said:
The goal of the United States government and the UK government, its closest surveillance ally, is to eliminate all privacy globally, by which I mean, to make every form of electronic communication by and between all human beings, collected, stored, analyzed, and monitored by the U.S. and its four English-speaking Five Eyes partners in the surveillance world.
One can view NROL-39 and its choice of symbols as yet another example of this relentless drive towards global domination in surveillance that Greenwald describes, or, one can apply a bit of analysis in a more fruitful, realistic but perhaps less hyperbolic direction.
As news reports appeared showing the NRO’s poor choice of imagery, I expect that inside the Pentagon and across the intelligence community, there was no shortage of individuals who smacked their own foreheads as they wondered: who could be so clueless? U.S. intelligence already has a massive image problem. It just got worse.
As a defense establishment agency, I’m sure the NRO does not have an artist-in-residence who is given a free hand to design and deploy a spy satellite logo of their choice. On the contrary, like any other government bureaucracy, the NRO no doubt has a careful review process through which draft designs are viewed and approved or rejected. So it’s very unlikely that when NROL-39 blasted into orbit, the global dominating octopus on its side lacked any of the sign-offs in the stages of authorization required by the agency. In other words, government officials across multiple ranks of seniority saw the logo and said: “Looks good to me.”
What the octopus logo reveals says much less about the ability of the intelligence agencies to control the world than it says about the competence and judgement of the people in charge.
The NRO is run by Betty J. Sapp and she isn’t a rocket scientist — business management is supposedly her expertise.
When those aspects of an intelligence agency’s work that are on public display evince this level of cluelessness, there’s no reason to imagine that under a cloak of secrecy it operations are more efficient.
We probably have less reason to be worried about our freedoms being curtailed than we have reason to be angry about the vast waste of resources all incurred in the name of national security.
NROL-41 Satellite launched by Atlas V 501 Rocket. Topaz Project Radar imaging.
El NROL-41 es una carga militar clasificada perteneciente al NRO (National Reconnaissance Office), así que se desconoce todo acerca de sus características, su órbita y su función. El gran tamaño de la cofia y el uso de la versión ligera del Atlas V 501 indican que se trata de una carga de grandes dimensiones pero no excesivamente pesada.
Los rumores apuntan a que podría tratarse un grupo de satélites del sistema de vigilancia naval NOSS (Naval Ocean Surveillance System).
Este grupo usa pares de satélites para localizar barcos por medio de sus transmisiones. También podría tratarse de un satélite espía de reconocimiento fotográfico, pero es menos probable.
USA-224, also known as NRO Launch 49 (NRO L-49), is an Americanreconnaissance satellite which was launched in 2011. It is a KH-11 optical imaging satellite, the fifteenth such spacecraft to be launched, and intended as a replacement of the USA-161 satellite launched in 2001.
After the failure of the Boeing led Future Imagery Architecture program in 2005, NRO ordered two additional legacy hardware KH-11s. Critics of the decision voiced concerns that each “exquisite-class” satellite would cost more than the latest Nimitz class aircraft carrier (CVN-77) with its projected procurement cost of US$ 6.35 billion as of May 2005.
NROL-66 Satellite launched by Minotaur I Rocket. RPP Project Technology
USA-225, also known as the Rapid Pathfinder Prototype (RPP) andNRO Launch 66 (NROL-66), is an American satellite which was launched in 2011. The satellite is being used to perform technology demonstration and development experiments, including advanceddosimeters to characterize the space environment from a 1,200 kilometerlow Earth orbit. It is operated by the United States National Reconnaissance Office.
Rapid Pathfinder was developed for less than US$ 20 million over a period of less than two years. Its dimensions are 0.5 m times 0.5 m times 0.5 m, and its mass including payload is 235 kg.
A Minotaur I carrier rocket was used to launch USA-225, flying fromSpace Launch Complex 8 of the Vandenberg Air Force Base. The launch of was originally scheduled for March 2011, however it was subsequently moved forwards to 5 February. During the attempt to launch on 5 February 2011, a transmitter malfunctioned, and the launch attempt wasscrubbed. Another attempt was scheduled for the next day. At 12:26 on 6 February 2011, the Minotaur lifted off, carrying USA-225 into orbit. The launch was conducted by Orbital Sciences Corporation
The Minotaur program is composed of top-secret NRO spy-satellite launching missions. Minotaurs are bull-headed creatures from Greek mythology that are always angry, violent and merciless. Minotaurs bear many resemblances to the Middle-Eastern deity Molech, a bull-headed god with the body of a man to whom child sacrifices were made.
In this patch for NROL-66, the red Minotaur (as if hailing directly from hell) is holding a street sign of the mythical route 66. It is rather difficult not to see an allusion to the devil (who is often portrayed in red) and the number 666.
Furthermore, according to some occult researchers, route 66 was originally laid out to become a sort of “occult pilgrimage”.
“The famous old American highway “Route 66″ was laid out by Freemasons with the apparent intention of sending masses of automobile riders into a self-processing occult “trip.”
Route 66 began at the Buckingham Fountain in Chicago, near the site of the University of Chicago’s collection of Aztec ritual incunabula. It ended in Barstow, California in the Mohave desert, which is for the Freemasons, the cosmic graveyard of the West, the final destiny of Anubis, the celestial jackal, otherwise known as Sirius (see Giorgio de Santillana andHertha Von Dechend, Hamlet’s Mill: An Essay on Myth and th Frame of Time, p. 358).
If this version of Route 66 smacks of some medieval pilgrimage made more appropriately on a camel than by car, it is for good reason. Most of Route 66 was based on a road forged in 1857 by Lt. Edward Beale and his caravan of the U.S. Camel Corps.”
– Michael A. Hoffman II, Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare.
So who is really getting their kicks on Route 66?
As with all National Reconnaissance Office Launches, the payload is not officially identified by the NRO. Mission specifics such as launch vehicle configuration, launch site, launch time and hints that can be found on the payload mission patch can be used to pin-point the identity of the secret satellite(s).
The NROL-67 mission has shown a number of inconsistencies which makes the identification of its payload difficult. In 2011, a document was published showing NROL-67 launching on Atlas V 541 from Vandenberg Air Force Base with Low Earth Orbit identified as target orbit which is highly unusual because target orbits for NRO launches are normally a closely guarded secret. Also, Atlas V 541 has a LEO Payload Capability of more than 17 metric tons and there is no candidate satellite that would match these criteria.
Documents released later showed the launch taking place from Cape Canaveral. It is unclear whether the older document was incorrect or the launch had actually been moved from the West to the East Coast which would suggest that the launch is targeting an orbit that could be reached from both launch sites – such as a highly elliptical Molniya orbit.
The NOTAMs provided several days before launch rule out a Molniya Orbit and point to a direct ascent mission to Geosynchronous Orbit.
The launch vehicle used for NROL-67, Atlas V flying in the 541 configuration, has not been used on any previous NRO launch. In fact, its only launch prior to NROL-67 was the Mars Science Laboratory mission in 2011.
It is likely that NROL-67 is an electronic intelligence ELINT spacecraft headed to Geostationary Orbit or Molniya Orbit, the more probable possibility being GEO.
There may be method to the madness behind the outlandish designs of the National Reconnaissance Office mission patches.
No, these are not characters from a Magic: The Gathering deck. They are avatars depicted on the official mission patches made for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Just as NASA creates specially designed patches for each mission into space, NRO follows that tradition for its spy satellite launches. But while NASA patches tend to feature space ships and American flags, NRO prefers wizards, Vikings, teddy bears and the all-seeing eye. With these outlandish designs, a civilian would be justified in wondering if NRO is trolling.
Unfortunately, given the agency’s extreme secrecy, it’s impossible to answer that question for sure. But based on information that has been leaked about some of the patches, it seems there may be a method to the artistic madness.