NROL-37 streaks past Cape Canaveral Lighthouse. Photo credit: Bill Jelen / We Report Space
NROL-37. That mission name is the sum total of publicly available information released by the National Reconnaissance Office regarding the Delta IV Heavy launch on June 11, 2016 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The NRO is an agency shrouded in secrecy. While it was established in 1960, the general public remained unaware of the clandestine agency until 1971, when a mention of the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) National Reconnaissance Office appeared in the New York Times. A Senate committee report inadvertently acknowledged the agency in 1973, and the existence of the NRO was officially declassified in 1992.
Delta IV Heavy / NROL-37 Launch (Michael Seeley)