SpaceX succeeded in it 2nd attempt to launch NROL-76 military satellite with a classified payload. This was its first big contract for U.S. military via National Reconnaissance Organization (NRO). It was broadcasted from LC39A facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The rocket took off from LC-39A at 7:15 AM EDT and ascended quickly to its orbit. The first stage separated as planned and returned to earth through planned controlled landing at LX-1 SpaceX’s landing pad at Cape Canaveral.
Launch and landing of the NRO spy satellite was good. Tough call, as high altitude wind shear was at 98.6% of the theoretical load limit. pic.twitter.com/nBzBMNdjBp
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 1, 2017
The first launch attempt was canceled on April 30 due to sensor issue with just 52 seconds left before liftoff. The launch today was a narrow escape as there was high altitude wind velocity, the SpaceX CEO Elon Musk notes that it was actually very much near to being called off given maximum loads on Falcon 9 spacecraft.