Cape Canaveral, fl. – SpaceX A secret US spy satellite was launched into space on Saturday (Dec. 19) for the National Intelligence Agency (NRO), marking the 26th rocket of the year.
Mysterious payload, Called NROL-108During the scheduled three-hour launch window, the BAT 39 was launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at 9 a.m. (1400 GMT).
Two phases used Falcon 9 Rocket As part of a government mission called NROL-108, the spy satellite was launched, marking the 26th launch of SpaceX 2020, the company’s new record. Approximately nine minutes after the liftoff, the first phase of the booster received some dramatic sonic boom. Sturdy ground, Touching SpaceX’s Landing Zone-1 (LZ-1) at the nearby Cape Canaveral Space Station.
Today’s flight is the fifth launch of this particular Falcon 9 first stage. The booster, designated B1059, previously carried two commercial cargo passengers to NASA’s International Space Station. Volume of SpaceX Starling satellites At the beginning of this year, and most recently in orbit Launches Earth observation satellite for Argentina.
The Balkans 9 erupted in a clear blue sky on Saturday morning, completely changing from the launch attempt on Thursday. Dense clouds eventually covered the rocket from that day’s view An issue With the second stage of the rocket Forced to postpone the release of SpaceX.
Several minutes after jumping to the Falcon 9 pad, the first stage of the rocket reappeared in the sky, with the iconic Sonic boom, you expect cracking upwards as the booster descends to land.
The B1059 is only the second booster to land on the Cape this year (as opposed to a drone at sea). (One-third landed at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California Sentinel-6 Earth launch satellite To NASA in November.) In fact, this is the third voyage for the LZ-1 for this booster, since the first phase of the senior Falcon 9 returned to Earth earlier this year after sending the CRS-20 mission into orbit.
A mysterious payload
Today’s Falcon 9 launch orbited a classified load for the National Assessment Office (NRO), the government agency that monitors the country’s spy satellites. Not much is known about the satellite except that the NRO protected the passage of high-secret cargo by unconventional means.
Normally, a spy agency would protect its rides in space through the U.S. Space Force’s National Security Space Launch Program, but this time it went its own way. According to the space travel report.
“In some cases, the NRO uses alternative methods to purchase launch services after an overall assessment of satellite risk tolerance, required launch sites, available launch capabilities and cost – all of which are timely, with the aim of ensuring that the satellites are delivered safely and securely into orbit.” A spokesman told Spacelight Nav.
Another interesting twist is that SpaceX did not conduct a constant fire test of its rocket before the flight. Typically, the company keeps the rocket under the pad and briefly fires its nine first-stage engines to make sure their systems are operating as expected before the lift. SpaceX avoids this routine test, which is rare but unheard of.
This mission marks the sixth launch of the year for the NRO, and is the second overall overall to fly on the SpaceX Falcon 9. First In May 2017 the NROL-76 returned to work.
Flight of the Balkans
The NROL-108 mission is the 50th edition of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 since the company restored its first booster in 2015. It also marks the 70th landing of a Falcon 9. To land, the booster detached from its upper position and conducted a series of orbital ballet moves, transforming itself for landing. It then carried out three engine burns, which continued slowly enough to touch its designated landing pad, marking the 21st successful landing for SpaceX.
To facilitate reuse, the company usually relies on its two giant drones, named “Off Course I Still Love You” and “Just Read the Instructions”, with floating bases usually parked in the Atlantic Ocean, and SpaceX launches and then launches more rockets.
“Of course I still love you” is sidelined for this task as the booster returns to the ground, while “Just Read the Instructions” is currently bringing back a booster from the company’s most recent release. 13. For that mission, a Falcon 9 rocket was launched for the seventh time, Sirius carries a large satellite into space for the XM. That missile was one of two of those seven missions that flew back to the port at the same time as today’s launch site.
When they return to Port Canaveral, Florida, the landing boosters are taken back to the SpaceX facility, where they are carefully inspected and reused to fly again.
The current remake of Falcon 9 was finalized in 2018. Is called Volume 5, Which has a drive of 7 1.7 million and some other upgrades that will allow for quick reuse. SpaceX claims that each of these boosters can fly 10 times with minor updates in between and 100 times more before retiring.
To date, SpaceX has introduced the same booster a maximum of seven times. According to Elon Musk, the company’s founder and CEO, each Falcon 9 booster is capable of flying at least 10 times between flights with minimal upgrades. We haven’t seen a fly many times, but were able to see it the next year.
Rocket fair recovery
Prior to today’s launch, SpaceX unveiled one of its twin-fairing catchers, the GO. The company’s other reasonable rescue ship, the GO Miss Chief, stayed in port for the second consecutive mission. Both boats are giant, mobile catcher mittens, slogging payload ferries – safety nostrils around satellites during launch – that act on attached nets as they fall to the ground.
To that end, SpaceX has installed parachutes and special software at its payload exhibitions, which include two integrated pieces. The exhibitions are designed to guide Ms. Tree and Ms. Chief into a rescue zone where they can wait until they return to Earth to attract them. If the boats miss or the weather is too bad to catch, both have board equipment.
The company is successfully reusing pilot exhibitions, and the ultimate goal – the launch of the Sirius XM-7 satellite – is to be the first aircraft to feature an updated version of the non-SpaceX payload. Usually the company re-uses reasoning in its own Starling missions. One of the reasonable pieces that covered the Sirius XM-7 payload, when it had previously traveled through the atmosphere Anasis-II mission Earlier this summer, South Korea launched a communications satellite for its military.
Today marks the end of a busy release year for the work cap. A total of 31 missions have been launched from the region this year, 26 of which are on SpaceX rockets. Next year, SpaceX will continue to fill its Starling satellites, launch two more astronauts, and one of its heavy-lifters, The Balkan Heavy.
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