Three booster tanks filled with cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants supplied by Defense Logistics Agency Energy Aerospace successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, Sept. 24.

Together, the three tanks delivered more than 705,000 pounds of thrust at sea level.

The rocket carried a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. The NRO is an Intelligence Community and Department of Defense agency responsible for developing, acquiring, launching and operating America’s reconnaissance satellites, as well as operating associated data processing facilities in support of national security.

Space Force Lt. Col. Matthew Hale is the site commander of NRO Vandenberg and worked closely with DLA Energy Aerospace on the launch.

“We carry high expectations for our mission partners in helping to reduce technical and schedule risks to our launch campaigns,” Hale said. “Under DLA’s leadership, the NROL-91 launch campaign commodity support was uneventfully easy – and perfectly how we prefer it. DLA – thank you for the excellent mission focus and support!”

DLA Energy Aerospace Energy Supplier Division provides the cradle-to-grave contracting support and award of government contracts for supplying sufficient liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to launch satellites and rockets.

“A great deal of planning goes into this,” said Doug Smith, director of DLA Energy Aerospace Energy Supplier Division. “We have long term contracts in place but because the Delta IV Heavy uses so much product, we have to be prepared for contingencies to include potential scrubs. Trucks are lined up to replenish, and staged, ready for the initial resupply.”

Supporting space launches is a shared responsibility with the DLA Energy Aerospace Energy Customer Facing Division. They are responsible for consolidating customer requirements, managing customer orders and arranging the transportation services for the space fuels.