SpaceX postpones 'secretive' US military launch for 24 hours
Due to a sensor issue, SpaceX on Sunday has postponed the launch of a secretive US governmnent payload untill Monday.
New Delhi: Due to a sensor issue, SpaceX on Sunday has postponed the launch of a secretive US governmnent payload untill Monday.
"Out of an abundance of caution we have decided to scrub today`s launch," a SpaceX spokesman said, describing the issue as relating to the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket.
Another opportunity for launch opens Monday at 7:00 am (1100 GMT).
The payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, which makes and operates spy satellites for the United States, will be the first military launch for the California-based aerospace company headed by billionaire tycoon Elon Musk.
"As a matter of policy and because of classification, NRO does not provide information about our contracts," a spokeswoman told AFP.
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.
SpaceX in 2014 protested the US Air Force`s practice of using only ULA, saying it unfairly awarded billions of dollars to a single company for national security launches.
SpaceX was selected to launch NROL-76 "after a competition," said the NRO spokeswoman.
She said she did not know when the contract was awarded. It was first announced last year.
(With Agency inputs)