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|