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SpaceX Successfully Launched New Spy Satellite, Might Be Observing China’s Island-Building And North Korea’s Nuclear Program [VIDEO]


A sensor issue forced SpaceX to cancel its U.S. spy payload on Sunday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. The launch was called off with just a minute remaining. But, SpaceX successfully sends a new spy satellite into space on Monday and gives people a new look at its spectacular rocket landings.

Following Falcon 9's successful launch, the first stage of the rocket will return to the landing zone at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The press briefing for the NROL-76 mission (current mission's name) was carried out Monday morning, but short on details regarding the payload sent to orbit. Nonetheless, NRO stands for National Reconnaissance Office, which is the U.S. military's surveillance arm, CNET reported.

The NROL-76 mission is said to be involved with a top-secret payload for the NRO, which operates Earth-observation satellites that collect information, such as China's island-building in the South China Sea and North Korea's nuclear program.

Nevertheless, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) made it known that the designation of NROL-76 is arbitrary in order to keep the identity of the satellite secret. Once in orbit, the payloads will have a new name with the prefix USA and a number in the sequence is USA-276. The first of the American satellites was deployed in February 1990 by the Space Shuttle Atlantis, NASA Space Flight reported.

NASA claimed that like most NRO missions, the satellite's identity that will be deployed during the mission of NROL-76 remains classified, as well as the nature of the mission the spacecraft will perform and the mission's target orbit. In spite of that, the NROL-76 mission was difficult to compare to the previous launches as the launch is the first time that a huge NRO spacecraft has aboard a Falcon 9.

That being said, the hazard areas were already established for mariners and airmen ahead of the launch. The rocket will bound northeast, which will fly over the Atlantic.

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