SpaceX launches classified payload into orbit for the NRO

SpaceX launches Falcon 9 rocket with mysterious classified payload into orbit for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

@anthony256
Published Tue, Dec 22 2020 12:29 AM CST   |   Updated Sat, Jan 16 2021 9:44 PM CST

SpaceX has just launched a new Falcon 9 rocket carrying a classified payload known as 'NROL-108' for the US government agency that controls spy satellites, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

SpaceX launches classified payload into orbit for the NRO 07 | TweakTown.com

Spaceflight Now reports that the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) normally sends payloads into space through the US Space Force's National Security Space Launch Program -- but this time did it on its own and commissioned SpaceX and used the Falcon 9 for its new mysterious payload.

The site explains: "In some cases, the NRO uses alternative methods to procure launch services after making a cumulative assessment of satellite risk tolerance, needed launch dates, available launch capabilities, and cost - all with a purpose of ensuring satellites are safely and securely delivered to orbit in a timely manner".

Space.com also notes that "Another interesting twist is that SpaceX did not conduct a static fire test of its rocket before flight. Typically, the company holds the rocket down on the pad and briefly fires its nine first-stage engines to make sure their systems are working as expected prior to liftoff. It's rare that SpaceX skips this routine test but is not unheard of".

Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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