A Space X Falcon 9 rocket launched the NROL-87 satellite into orbit on behalf of the US Space Force Command.
SpaceX conducted its first launch of the year on Wednesday. A Falcon 9 rocket has put a spy satellite into orbit on behalf of the American Space Force, announced the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), responsible for the design and management of the United States military satellite network.
The rocket carrying the NROL-87 satellite took off at 12:27 p.m. local time (20:27 GMT) from the Vandenberg military base in California. The Falcon 9 first stage returned to Earth for a landing at Vandenberg Landing Zone 4. The upper stage, meanwhile, continued to carry NROL-87 for orbiting.
“The NROL-87 satellite was designed, built and operated by the NRO as part of its space reconnaissance mission”, said this military intelligence agency without further details, citing “defense secrecy”.
The NRO, which depends on the Pentagon and monitors international maritime traffic and communications from adversaries of the United States, said it was the first satellite launched this year, but the 17th in two years. It is intended in particular for the command of the Space Force, in Los Angeles.