Surprisingly Awesome NRO Mission Patches

This Thursday (weather permitting, and it’s not looking good), an Atlas V is scheduled to blast off from Vandenberg AFB with an undisclosed payload for the National Reconnaissance Office on board (which of course means it’s gotta be a spy sat of some kind).  They’re always tight-lipped on the details, but mission patches are released, and this one’s pretty wicked:


That’s one lady I don’t wanna cheese off.  But this is far from the only intimidating patch they’ve produced.  Here are a few other memorable ones:

NROL-34-patch (NROL-34, featuring Odin with his eyepatch and one of his ravens, presumably Huginn, who represented wisdom)

NROL-65(NROL-65, the Gaelic says “Deliver Your Stuff”; I have no explanation for the “Buttercup” tattoo on the eagle serviceman’s arm/wing and would love to know what it means)

nrol49(NROL-49; the Latin says “First Heavy Out of the West” as this was the first Delta IV Heavy to launch from Vandenberg, but the rest of the patch is frankly insane — though I do at least know that “Betty” was the name of the rocket.  Seriously.)

nrol-39(NROL-39; this one’s my favorite for its almost excessively ominous slogan)

National_Reconnaissance_Office_NROL-38_launch_patch(NROL-38; I guess Rodan’s on our side now)

And lastly, what might be the goofiest of recent NRO mission patches, this one for NROL-66:



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