Today SpaceX successfully completed their first big contract for the US military, launching a classified payload named NROL-76 for the National Reconnaissance Organization (NRO).
As usual, they used the Falcon 9 for this launch, which lifted off from Pad 39A of Cape Canaveral at 7:15AM EDT as planned, and then made its way to its target orbit (which was also classified).
And despite a high altitude wind of 98.6%, the first stage even landed shortly after separating from the second stage, parking successfully on LZ-1, SpaceX’s landing pad at Cape Canaveral.
Launch and landing of the NRO spy satellite was good. Tough call, as high altitude wind shear was at 98.6% of the theoretical load limit. pic.twitter.com/nBzBMNdjBp
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 1, 2017
Unfortunately, this wasn’t quite as successful as SpaceX wanted it to be, the launch was originally planned to happen yesterday, however, SpaceX had to scrub the mission due to a sensor issue with just 52 seconds left before its planned liftoff.
However, they made up for that today.
You can re-watch the launch for yourself via the video below.