SpaceX successfully launches CLASSIFIED military mission into space for United States intelligence

SpaceX is taking its second shot at NROL-76, a Falcon 9 mission launching from LC-39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Station.

The rocket lifted off at 7:15 a.m. EDT, but this was the second attempt for this launch.

The first stage shut down and decoupled from the payload about two minutes into the launch, and that's the last we saw of the secretive satellite.

The leftover booster - its job done - landed next door at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station several minutes after liftoff.

It was SpaceX's first mission for the National Reconnaissance Office.

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The launch, which was originally scheduled for Sunday, was almost postponed for a second time, according to Elon Musk - SpaceX's founder. The facility supported the first Saturn V launch (Apollo 4), and many subsequent Apollo Moon missions, including Apollo 11 in July 1969.

SpaceX now holds two launch contracts with the Air Force. 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. It is possible, however, that more NRO missions conducted by SpaceX could be in the works for the near future, Space News reports.

The company said it will attempt another launch at 11.00am GMT on Monday. Contracts for military launches include satellites that let troops communicate on battlefields and are estimated to be valued at about $70 billion through 2030.

"And we have touchdown", a SpaceX commentator said on a live video as cheers broke out at mission control. It is not known when SpaceX will fly its next used Falcon 9, but there are good chances that we will see previously flown first stages being used in both commercial launches and military missions at some point.

Space X has also won two more contracts from the US Air Force to send up Global Positioning System satellites in 2018 an 2019. Since then, it has recovered 8 first stages, including its first at-sea landing in the Pacific Ocean off of San Diego in January.

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