Sat. Jul 13th, 2024


SpaceX launches a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on April 6, 2024. (SpaceX)

SpaceX launches a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on April 6, 2024. (SpaceX)

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Friday night.

The rocket lifted off at 8:14 p.m. PT


Friday night’s mission, called NROL-186, involved transporting a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, a government agency in charge of designing and building spy satellites for the U.S.

After launching vertically, the Falcon began a gradual turn while continuing to climb into orbit. 

Following stage separation after liftoff, the Falcon’s reusable booster made a pinpoint landing back on the spaceport drone ship, “Of Course I Still Love You,” which is stationed in the Pacific Ocean.

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in Southern California, carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, a government agency in charge of building U.S. spy satellites on June 28, 2024. (SpaceX)
SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in Southern California, carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, a government agency in charge of building U.S. spy satellites on June 28, 2024. (SpaceX)
SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in Southern California, carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, a government agency in charge of building U.S. spy satellites on June 28, 2024. (SpaceX)
SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in Southern California, carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, a government agency in charge of building U.S. spy satellites on June 28, 2024. (SpaceX)
SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in Southern California, carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, a government agency in charge of building U.S. spy satellites on June 28, 2024. (SpaceX)
SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in Southern California, carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, a government agency in charge of building U.S. spy satellites on June 28, 2024. (SpaceX)
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket returned to earth and made a pinoint landing on the spaceport drone ship, “Of Course I Still Love You,” in the Pacific Ocean on June 28, 2024. (SpaceX)
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket returned to earth and made a pinoint landing on the spaceport drone ship, “Of Course I Still Love You,” in the Pacific Ocean on June 28, 2024. (SpaceX)

The first-stage booster on this particular Falcon 9 rocket has completed eight liftoffs so far.

The booster has previously launched Crew-7, CRS-29, PACE, Transporter-10, EarthCARE, and two Starlink missions.

Friday night’s launch could be visible from hundreds of miles away along the Southern California coast.

The mission was the 66th Falcon 9 flight in 2024. So far, 47 of the rocket’s launches were dedicated to building SpaceX’s Starlink broadband satellite network in low Earth orbit.




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#SpaceX #launches #Falcon #rocket #Southern #California

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