SpaceX Launches Falcon 9 On Secret Spy Mission

May 1, 2017 8:48 am
Falcon 9 rocket. (Elon Musk/Twitter)
Falcon 9 rocket. (Elon Musk/Twitter)

SpaceX launched the nation’s “eyes and ears in space” on Monday morning—then returned the rocket right back down on Earth.


SpaceX’s fifth flight of 2017, and the company’s first for the National Reconnaissance Office, was initially set for Sunday, but a sensor problem scrubbed the first attempt.

Monday morning, the 230-foot Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 7:15 a.m. and thundered over the Atlantic Ocean before SpaceX cut its launch broadcast to help preserve the flight’s secrecy, USA Today reported.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the mission launched successfully.

“Launch and landing of the NRO spy satellite was good,” he said about 20 minutes after liftoff. “Tough call, as high altitude wind shear was at 98.6% of the theoretical load limit.”

Currently, an additional Falcon 9 is being prepped to launch a commercial satellite from KSC as soon as May 15, according to

Read more about the launch at USA Today here.

See the launch below.



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