SpaceX launches secretive US spy satellite
The private space firm succeeded in sending a top secret US military satellite in to orbit this morning.
The Falcon 9 rocket took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 7:15 a.m. EDT carrying a classified spy satellite developed by the National Reconnaissance Office.
As usual the rocket's booster stage, once detached, came back in for a gentle landing.
No details of the payload's mission or final trajectory were revealed by the company.
"Launch and landing of the NRO spy satellite was good," said SpaceX CEO Elon Musk who also noted that the decision to proceed had been a "tough call" due to high altitude wind shear.
The successful landing of the rocket's booster stage marks the tenth such success overall and the fourth to have been achieved at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Reusable rockets are a big thing for private space firms as they have the potential to significantly reduce the cost of each launch and make missions in to space a lot more affordable.