SpaceX launches its first 'secretive' satellite for the US government!

No details were made public about the payload, known only as NROL-76, which was first announced last year.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: May 01, 2017, 19:52 PM IST
SpaceX launches its first 'secretive' satellite for the US government!
Image courtesy: @SpaceX/Twitter (Image for representational purposes only)

New Delhi: After postponing the launch of its top secret US military satellite due to a sensor issue, SpaceX's unmanned Falcon 9 rocket lifted off today morning from its NASA-leased pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

In an effort to make rocket parts recyclable, rather than jettisoning the costly components after each launch, the California-based space company made its first military launch on Monday, May 1.

The payload that has been launched for the National Reconnaissance Office, makes and operates spy satellites for the United States.

No details were made public about the payload, known only as NROL-76, which was first announced last year.

Several minutes into the flight, the first stage booster, its job done, aimed for a touchdown at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. SpaceX strives to return most of its first- stage boosters for reuse.

This was the fourth SpaceX booster landing at Cape Canaveral; even more have landed on an ocean platform. Sonic booms, as usual, rattled the area around the launch site.

SpaceX, headed by Internet entrpreneur Elon Musk, has already made several successful landings on solid ground and on platforms floating in the ocean, thus establishing a pioneering image for itself in the space world.

The company's first recycled rocket flew last month.

Until now, the US military has spent billions per year exclusively with United Launch Alliance, a joint operation of aerospace giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin, to launch government satellites.

(With PTI inputs)