A classified US National Reconnaissance Office satellite was successfully launched Sunday morning on a reusable SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, officials confirmed.
The NROL-85 satellite was launched at 6:13 a.m. local time from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. Sunday’s launch marked the first time the NRO has reused a previously launched rocket booster, the NRO said in a statement.
The NRO described only the NROL-85 satellite, the second to be launched this year on Spacex, as a “critical national security payload.”
According to Spacex, Elon Musk’s aerospace company, it has launched a total of 147 Falcon 9 rockets, 107 of which have landed. A total of 87 of the missiles were flown again, including the first missile used for a second time in 2017.
The Falcon first stage flew back and landed at the coastal base northwest of Los Angeles.
The launch was one of three Air Force orders to SpaceX in 2019 for a combined fixed price of $297 million.
NGO is the government agency tasked with building and launching US satellites that provide intelligence data to the legislature, the intelligence community, and the Department of Defense.
With post wires
https://nypost.com/2022/04/18/spacex-falcon-9-rocket-successfully-launches-second-us-spy-satellite-into-orbit/ SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket successfully launches second US spy satellite into orbit