SpaceX NROL-76 Mission

SpaceX will launch the NROL-76 spy satellite on the Falcon 9, a two stage rocket designed from the ground up by SpaceX on Monday at 7:00 am after a 24-hr scrub from Sunday at 7:15 am. Sunday’s scrub was due to a faulty sensor on the first stage. 

Launching from launch complex 39a (LC-39a) the Falcon 9 will carry the NROL-76 satellite into orbit and the Falcon’s first stage will attempt to land back at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1). 

SpaceX NROL-76 Mission
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at launch complex 39a. Image by: Jason Perrone
SpaceX NROL-76 Mission
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at launch complex 39a. Image by: Jason Perrone
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at launch complex 39a for the NROL-76 mission. Image by: Jason Perrone
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at launch complex 39a. Image by: Jason Perrone
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at launch complex 39a for the NROL-76 mission. Image by: Jason Perrone
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at launch complex 39a. Image by: Jason Perrone

 About The Launch Facility

Launch complex 39a (LC-39a) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center has a long history dating back to the early 1960’s. Originally built to support the Apollo Program, LC-39a supported the first Saturn V launch on Apollo 4 and then later Apollo 11 in July 1969. Beginning in the late 70’s, LC-39a was modified to support the new Space Shuttle launches. LC-39a hosted the first shuttle launch in 1981 and the last launch in 2011. 

In 2014, SpaceX signed a 20 year lease with NASA for LC-39a and then began modifying the pad for their Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 heavy rockets. SpaceX plans to once again launch crew missions from LC-39a in the near future. 

 

Leave a Reply