SpaceX launches U.S. spy satellite; Falcon 9 first stage returns
by Paul Brinkmann and Danielle Haynes
Orlando FL (UPI) Dec 21, 2020
SpaceX launched the company's second spy satellite mission for the U.S. government Saturday morning.
The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 9 a.m. EST from Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The payload fairing separated about 2 1/2 minutes after liftoff.
The reusable Falcon 9 rocket landed at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station about 8 1/2 minutes after liftoff - the fifth time for this particular booster and the 70th time for a Falcon 9 to date.
SpaceX aborted a previous launch attempt Thursday due to a slightly high pressure reading in an upper stage liquid oxygen tank on the rocket. The countdown stopped at 1 minute, 53 seconds before launch.
Andy Tran, a SpaceX avionics production supervisor, said during a live broadcast Thursday that the rocket and the payload were in good condition despite the abort.
The company's first launch of a U.S. spy satellite, NROL-76, was in May 2017 for the National Reconnaissance Office, which is part of the Department of Defense. Most such missions have been conducted in recent years by United Launch Alliance.
The government says very little about classified missions such as the launch on Sunday, except that the rocket is carrying a "national security payload designed, built and operated by the agency ... to provide intelligence data to the United States' senior policymakers, intelligence agencies and the defense department."
SpaceX's live stream of Sunday's launch didn't include footage of the satellite's deployment due to its classified nature.
The National Reconnaissance Office's mission is to provide information for intelligence requirements, research and development, and to assist in emergency and disaster relief.
Source: United Press International
SpaceX aborts launch attempt of U.S. government spy satellite
Washington DC (UPI) Dec 17, 2020
SpaceX on Thursday postponed the company's second spy satellite mission for the U.S. government due to a slightly high pressure reading in an upper stage liquid oxygen tank on the Falcon 9 rocket. The countdown stopped at 1 minute, 53 seconds before the planned 9:45 a.m. EST liftoff from Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX said it plans another attempt Friday morning. "At this point, the vehicle and payload both appear to be in good health," Andy Tran, a SpaceX avionic ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.