The NROL 76 carried a not yet identified payload for the NRO launched as the first NRO payload on a SpaceX Falcon-9 v1.2 rocket. The target orbit is not known.
The published NOTAMS show a launch to a ~50° orbit with a non-planar launch window. It is a LEO mission. This kind of orbit is not used by any known NRO mission before, so likely it is a new type of payload or an experimental one-off payload, perhaps similar to the NROL 21 (USA 193).
The observation of an yet unidentified object might hint to an orbit similar to the ISS orbit.
The delayed deorbiting of the second stage might provide a hint on possible secondary payloads.
The SpaceX Falcon-9 v1.2 launch was contracted via Ball Aerospace, which is likely the builder of the satellite.
Note: The NROL designations refer to the launch, not to the payload.
|Type / Application:||Technology ?|
|Contractors:||Ball Aerospace ?|
|Orbit:||400 km × 400 km, 51° ?|
|NROL 76 (USA 276)||2017-022A||01.05.2017||CCK LC-39A||Falcon-9 v1.2|