SpaceX Launches US Military Spy Satellite
- Author: Carolyn Briggs May 06, 2017,
May 06, 2017, 19:48
SpaceX on Monday morning successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center after Sunday's planned launch was scrubbed over a sensor issue.
It was the first time the aerospace manufacturing company has launched a rocket for the USA military - carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, which makes and operates spy satellites for the United States.
SpaceX hopes to try again Monday morning to launch a classified US intelligence mission from Kennedy Space Center, after a sensor problem scrubbed a first attempt Sunday.
A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket carrying a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Monday, May 1, 2017.
"Launch and landing of the NRO spy satellite was good", said Elon Musk, founder and owner of SpaceX company, on his Twitter page. The company has successfully landed numerous rockets already, but this is the first time it's done so on a mission for the US Department of Defense.
Since then, the California-based company has also won two contracts to launch Global Positioning System satellites for the US Air Force.
Destination Space and SpaceX nails the launch and sticks the landing on Monday on the Space Coast.
While we might never know the details of this payload, the fact that cats were watching the launch should hint at something.
WATCH: SpaceX's webcast of the launch and return of first-stage rocket. This explains that SpaceX is steadily moving towards achieving its ambitious mission of complete reusability - with an aim to cut down re-launch time to under 24 hours.
The leftover booster - its job done - landed next door at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station several minutes after liftoff. In 2014, SpaceX sued the U.S. Air Force in a dispute over an $11 billion contract awarded to ULA. The company's first recycled rocket flew last month. In the past, the intelligence agency has flown its payloads into space on United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 and Delta 4 rockets.