SpaceX Rocket Successfully Launches US Spy Satellite

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) intelligence agency said that satellite will assist in overhead reconnaissance missions.

SpaceX Rocket Successfully Launches US Spy Satellite

NROL-87 is the third time the agency has used a Falcon 9 rocket

Highlights
  • SpaceX rocket took off at 12:27 pm local time (01:57am IST on February 3)
  • NROL-87 is designed, built, and operated by the NRO
  • NRO operates a large network of surveillance satellites

A US intelligence agency said Wednesday that its newest spy satellite successfully launched into orbit atop a reusable SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The SpaceX rocket took off at 12:27 pm local time (01:57am IST on February 3) from the Vandenberg Air Force base in California, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which is in charge of the US Space Force, said in a statement.

After releasing the satellite, dubbed NROL-87, into orbit, the Falcon 9 rocket then landed back at the base, the agency said.

"NROL-87 is designed, built, and operated by the NRO to support its overhead reconnaissance mission," the statement said.

The NRO gave few other details about the satellite but said it will "provide a wide-range of timely intelligence information."

The NRO, a division of the US Defense Department, operates a large network of surveillance satellites, and is headquartered near Washington, in northern Virginia.

NROL-87, the first satellite launched by the NRO in 2022, is the third time the agency has used a Falcon 9 rocket.

The NRO has launched 16 other satellites over the past two years.


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