NROL-61 and the Lizard

United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully delivered a classified national security satellite on Thursday July 28, 2016 using an Atlas V in a 421 configuration, with two solid rocket boosters for added takeoff thrust and a 4 meter diameter payload fairing, the XEPF (Extra Extended Payload Fairing).

The NROL-61 is the third NRO launch of the year but is the first time a 421 configuration is used for an NRO mission, suggesting the satellite is a new project or a modified follow-on to an existing program.
Continuing with a tradition of interesting mission insignias chosen by the NRO, the NROL-61 logo features an anthropomorphized lizard riding on the Atlas V rocket. Nicknamed Spike, this mission’s mascot is part of a STEM initiative of the NRO.


The paper model for this presentation is my Atlas V 400 Series in 421 configuration in 1:96 scale sporting the Extra Extended Payload Fairing and 2 Solid fuel boosters.
This model is a great addition to the growing collection of my Atlas V rockets, and is a special one because of the funny looking logo.


So, check out the details of the model and add it to your collection!

image Comparison of the different type of payload fairings for the Atlas V 400 Series, the Long Payload Fairing, the Extended Payload Fairing and the Extra Extended Payload Fairing.



Solid rocket boosters position






Enjoy and send your comments!

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