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United States spy satellite launched into space by Elon Musk's SpaceX

Watch SpaceX try a picture-perfect rocket landing at 7AM ET SpaceX Scrubs Spy Satellite Launch Attempt
Manuel Armenta | 03 May, 2017, 07:11

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launches the company's first flight for the US military to orbit the classified NROL-76 spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office on May 1, 2017 from Pad-39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. NROL-76, the designation for the classified satellite launch, was SpaceX's first dedicated mission for the military.

The payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, which makes and operates spy satellites for the United States, soared into the sky atop a Falcon 9 rocket at 7:15 am (1115 GMT).

The launch, which was originally scheduled for Sunday, was almost postponed for a second time, according to Elon Musk - SpaceX's founder.

SpaceX on Monday blasted off a secretive U.S. government satellite, known only as NROL-76, marking the first military launch for the California-based aerospace company headed by billionaire tycoon Elon Musk. There is not much information about the objective of the mission or the intended orbit of the satellite since this was a national security launch. "ORCRP009161-topic.html" class="local_link" >Lockheed Martin Corp. that dominates the business.

For the last six years, at least, only United Launch Alliance has delivered government payloads into space.

Its first recycled rocket flew last month. Instead, SpaceX focused its webcast on the landing of its first-stage booster. After the NRO device was sent into orbit, the Falcon 9's first stage booster made its way back to Earth for a ground-landing on Patrick Air Force Base's Landing Zone 1 in Cape Canaveral.

SpaceX is targeting launch of NROL-76 from historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

A spy satellite has been launched into space by billionaire Elon Musk's Space X company.

SpaceX normally divulges footage from the entirety of its missions, but the company curtailed the broadcast shortly after take-off.

SpaceX also achieved one of its defining endeavors: landing the rocket safely back on Earth. But the upper-level wind at liftoff was "unusually high".

SpaceX strives to return most of its boosters for reuse. In 2014, after perceiving that the US Air Force was unfairly favoring a competitor in the commercial launch industry, SpaceX sued the federal government.