Saturday 19 December 2020

SpaceX launches classified US spy satellite into orbit on final 2020 mission

Global News shows how SpaceX successfully launched a spy satellite into orbit on the company's Falcon 9 reusable rocket in its final mission of 2020 on Saturday.

Falcon 9 carried the spy satellite into space for the USA National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) on a classified national security mission. The launch had been originally scheduled for Thursday, but was aborted due to irregular pressure readings.

SpaceX did not show the satellite's positioning, but it did broadcast the separation and landing of Falcon 9.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. The goal of the company is to reducing space transportation costs to enable the colonization of Mars.

Falcon 9 is a partially reusable two-stage-to-orbit medium-lift launch vehicle designed and manufactured by SpaceX in the United States. Both the first and second stages are powered by SpaceX Merlin engines, using cryogenic liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene as propellants.

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is a member of the United States Intelligence Community and an agency of the United States Department of Defense. NRO is considered, along with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), to be one of the "big 5" USA intelligence agencies.

A reconnaissance satellite or intelligence satellite is an Earth observation satellite or communications satellite deployed for military or intelligence applications. The first generation type took photographs, then ejected canisters of photographic film which would descend back down into Earth's atmosphere.

Optical image reconnaissance satellites use a charge coupled device (CCD) to gather images that make up a digital photograph for transmission back to Earth from an altitude of about 200 miles. Since the satellites are in orbit, they cannot hover over a given area or provide real-time video of a single location.

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