SpaceX Launches First Government Satellite & Lands Booster

Apr 24, 2017

SpaceX successfully launched a spy satellite Monday morning aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, the second shot at the launch after cancelling Sunday's original launch.

The rocket lifted off at 7:15 a.m. Monday morning from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

The rocket was originally scheduled to liftoff Sunday, but it was delayed by one day after SpaceX detected an issue with a sensor on the rocket's first stage.

With 52 seconds remaining before liftoff at 7:15 a.m. Sunday, SpaceX called a 24-hour hold to check out the sensor

"Standing down today due to a sensor issue; backup launch opportunity tomorrow morning," SpaceX posted to Twitter.

After the launch, SpaceX landed the first stage booster at Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

On March 30, SpaceX last successfully launched and recovered a Falcon 9 for commercial satellite operator SES.

The latest launch, designated as NROL-76, is the first SpaceX has done for the spy agency National Reconnaissance Office and the U.S. Department of Defense

This can lead to bidding on national security contracts with United Launch Alliance the only contractor for the Department of Defense.

SpaceX is targeting launch of NROL-76 from historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Following scrub of the initial attempt due to a sensor issue, the two hour launch window now opens on Monday, May 1, at 7:00 a.m. EDT, or 11:00 UTC.

Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will attempt to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch a classified spacecraft payload for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

It will be SpaceX’s first launch for the NRO.

The launch was delayed from April 16.