Watch a Delta IV rocket launch a secret satellite to space

This afternoon, the United Launch Alliance is set to launch a classified spy satellite on one of its Delta IV rockets from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This will be ULA’s first launch of 2018, and the 27th launch for the US National Reconnaissance Office, which operates a host of satellites used for intelligence gathering and surveillance.

The mission — dubbed NROL-47 — is classified, so we don’t know much about the payload and what it’ll be used for once in orbit. What we do know is that the NROL-47 mission patch depicts a white knight brandishing a sword at a terrifying brown dragon. A Latin phrase on the patch promises that “evil will never prevail.” This latest mission patch is part of a long tradition of just plainly…

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