DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL - A SpaceX rocket carrying a spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office successfully lifted off this morning, a day after the first attempt was scrubbed.
It's the first time the Hawthorne, California-based company founded by Elon Musk has launched a spy satellite for the U.S. government.
Until now, only Centennial-based United Launch Alliance has launched payloads into space for the federal government, while SpaceX (formally known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp.) has focused on commercial launches and cargo missions to the International Space Station.
“From the government angle, they now have more than one launch provider,” said space historian Roger Launius, formerly of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., per the Orlando Sentinel.“That’s important because if you lose one and have to stand down for whatever period of time, especially for national security payloads, you still have options.”
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