dglobalnews.com SpaceX all set to launch first military satellite
Published: Wed, May 03, 2017
National | By Glenda Ortiz

SpaceX all set to launch first military satellite

The launch company sent a spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office into orbit Monday, marking the first time it executed a contract with the USA government.

After splitting from its payload, the rocket landed back to Earth at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Across the country, cheers erupted at SpaceX Mission Control at company headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

SpaceX also achieved one of its defining endeavors: landing the rocket safely back on Earth.

SpaceX is usually hyped to tell us all about the payload it's sending to orbit, but this time it doesn't have as much to say. A lovely sight to see'. Launch had a 24-hour delay The launch had originally been scheduled 7:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, but one of the hundreds of sensors on the rocket was acting up, prompting a halt to the launch, according to USA Today.

"Tough call, as high altitude wind shear was at 98.6% of the theoretical load limit", Musk wrote on Twitter.

The current mission is the company's first dedicated launch for the NRO, the nation's "eyes and ears in space", and its fifth flight of 2017.

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The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website . During the first quarter of 2017, the company spent $17.8 million on repurchasing 472,967 shares at a price of $37.63 per share.

Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies launched a sensitive mission for the US military and landed the rocket's booster on land, marking the company's fifth successful mission of 2017.

After 10 years of ULA exclusivity, it's a huge win for SpaceX that a Falcon 9 rocket finally broke that monopoly and launched a classified National Reconnaissance Office spy satellite into orbit. The NRO provides satellite intelligence data for national security and "innovative overhead reconnaissance systems". It marked the company's first launch since a Falcon 9 rocket exploded at Cape Canaveral, Florida, in September.

Until now, the USA military has worked exclusively with United Launch Alliance - a joint operation between aerospace giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin - to launch government satellites.

SpaceX now holds two launch contracts with the Air Force. Previously, its competitor, United Launch Alliance, handled classified launched for the Air Force.

The company said it will attempt another launch at 11.00am GMT on Monday.

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