SpaceX boosts US spy satellite into orbit

A classified spy satellite has been boosted into orbit for the US military. The launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket breaks a ten-year monopoly held by a Lockheed Martin-Boeing partnership.

While it was SpaceX’s 34th flight, it was the company’s first for the Department of Defense.

Congratulations to the #NROL76 team, including SpaceX and 45thSpaceWing on a successful launch! pic.twitter.com/4BwyHiegsH— NRO (@NatReconOfc) May 1, 2017

After lift-off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the successful detachment of the satellite, the rocket turned around and touched down at a nearby landing pad.

Split screen shot of Falcon 9 first stage as it returns to Earth and lands at Landing Zone 1. pic.twitter.com/5hlwTOTGKa— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 1, 2017

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