SPACEX on Wednesday launched a US government spy satellite into orbit on a top secret mission.
The National Reconnaissance Office’s probe took off at 12:27 p.m. local time from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on a Falcon 9 rocket.
The launch was broadcast over the web until the spacecraft’s first stage completed combustion and separated from the second stage.
According to NRO rules, the continued range of the flight – which carried the NROL-87 satellite – into orbit had ended at that point.
The Falcon’s first stage flew back to its coastal base northwest of Los Angeles and landed so it could be used again on a future NRO mission.
Central Coast residents have been advised by SpaceX – the private rocket company of billionaire Elon Musk – to expect a sonic boom when the boosters resume.
The NRO describes only the NROL-87 satellite as a national security force.
Its launch was one of three awarded to SpaceX by the Air Force in 2019 for a combined fixed price of $297 million.
The NRO is the government agency responsible for the development, construction, launch, and maintenance of US surveillance satellites.
Those probes provide intelligence data to senior policymakers, the intelligence community, and the Department of Defense.
The office plans more than half a dozen launches this year to put nearly a dozen payloads into orbit.
There were two NRO launches last year, NROL-82 from Vandenberg and NROL-111 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
NRO has launched another 16 satellites in the past two years.
It comes just days after online space junk watchers warned that a SpaceX booster is on the way Moon collision course.
The out-of-control booster was launched from Florida in February 2015 as part of the rocket company’s first deep space mission.
Falcon 9’s second stage completed its engine burn for a long time before deploying NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory on its journey to a point more than 1 million kilometers from Earth. .
It no longer has enough fuel to return it to Earth’s atmosphere, leaving it in a turbulent orbit around our planet.
Now, space watchers have calculated that the portion of the rocket will intersect the Moon at 2.58 km/s within a few weeks.
The impact is estimated to occur by March 4, 2022, according to Bill Gray, who wrote the popular article Project Pluto software to track near-Earth objects.
In other news, a four-ton block of a SpaceX rocket is on a collision course with the Moon, according to online space junk trackers.
Boeing has sink 450 million dollars became a flying taxi startup that hopes to attract passengers across cities by the end of the decade.
Personalized smart guncan only be activated by verified users, may eventually be made available to US consumers this year.
And, scientists are embarking on a mission to unravel the mystery behind dozens of creepy baby mummy was buried in an underground tomb in Sicily.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8314141/elon-musk-spacex-launch-us-probe-classified/ Inside Elon Musk’s SpaceX launches secret US probe for ‘top secret mission’