NRO Launch Patches

Yesterday I stumbled on a Reddit post about the launch attempt out of Vandenberg AFB. The payload belongs to the National Reconnaissance Office which is a pretty secretive place, the launch patch can be viewed below.



Somewhat mysterious and not as elaborate as other NASA patches. It could be a clue to the payload but given the history of the patches I'm going with "hey guys, let's give the graphics people a fun project and screw with some conspiracy theorists." It seems to have worked given the amount of time devoted on various blogs and boards to deciphering their meaning. Speaking of historical patches here are a few that stuck out to me:



The Latin reads "better the devil you know."


NROL 39 - Space Cthulhu


I'm surprised The History Channel hasn't done a special on this one. Once again a Reddit post led to an entire night of Wikipedia reading.