SpaceX rocket successfully launches US spy satellite

SpaceX successfully launched a satellite at the request of the National Reconnaissance Office.

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US intelligence agency reported Wednesday that its latest spy satellite was successfully launched into orbit by a reusable SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket . The rocket took off at 12:27 p.m. local time (20:27 GMT) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), in charge of the US Space Force, said in a statement.

After putting the satellite, called NROL-87, into orbit, the Falcon 9 landed back at the base, the agency said. “NROL-87 is designed, built and operated by the NRO to support its aerial reconnaissance mission,” the statement said.

The NRO gave some details about the satellite, adding that it “will provide a broader range of intelligence information in a timely manner.” The NRO, a division of the US Department of Defense, operates a huge network of surveillance satellites and is based near Washington, Virginia.

NROL-87 is the first satellite launched by the NRO in 2022 and marks the third time the agency has used a Falcon 9 rocket. In the past two years, the NRO has launched another 16 satellites.

With information from AFP