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Mission type Radar imaging
Operator US NRO
COSPAR ID 2012-014A
SATCAT № 38109
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type Topaz
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin
Start of mission
Launch date 3 April 2012, 23:12:57 (2012-04-03UTC23:12:57Z) UTC
Rocket Delta IV-M+(5,2) D359
Launch site Vandenberg SLC-6
Contractor ULA
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth (retrograde)
Perigee 1,107 kilometres (688 mi)[1]
Apogee 1,114 kilometres (692 mi)[1]
Inclination 123.00 degrees[1]
Period 107.35 minutes[1]
Epoch 18 January 2015, 16:58:55 UTC[1]

USA-234, also known as NRO Launch 25 or NROL-25, is an American reconnaissance satellite, operated by the National Reconnaissance Office. Launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in 2012, it has been identified as the second radar imaging satellite to be launched as part of the Future Imagery Architecture programme.[2]

USA-234 was launched by United Launch Alliance, using a Delta IV carrier rocket, making its first flight in the Medium+(5,2) configuration.[3] The rocket was launched from Space Launch Complex 6 at Vandenberg, at 23:12:57 UTC (16:12:57 PDT) on 3 April 2012.[4] It was identified as NRO Launch 25, and was the nineteenth flight of a Delta IV; the vehicle was designated Delta 359, and named Electra.[5]

The satellite's orbit and mission are officially classified; however, it has been located by amateur observers in a 1,096 by 1,079 kilometres (681 by 670 mi) orbit, inclined at 123 degrees.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Peat, Chris (18 January 2015). "USA 234 - Orbit". Heavens-Above. Retrieved 25 January 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Krebs, Gunter. "FIA-Radar 1, 2, 3, 4". Gunter's Space Page.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Ray, Justin (28 March 2012). "Delta 4 poised for one last 'first flight' milestone". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 9 April 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Ray, Justin (4 April 2012). "Delta 4 rocket successfully lofts surveillance satellite". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 9 April 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Krebs, Gunter. "NROL launches". Gunter's Space Page.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Molczan, Ted (6 April 2012). "NROL-25: search TLE update". Seesat. Retrieved 9 April 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>