CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX intelligence satellite launch has been delayed until Friday. The Falcon 9 rocket auto-abort was called at T-1:53 due to a second stage sensor reading.
The satellite is for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO.) The NRO, owner of the U.S. government’s spy satellite fleet, has not disclosed any details about the payload on the Falcon 9 rocket.
The intelligence agency tweeted mission artwork of an angry, fanged gorilla beating its chest next to text that reads, "Peace Through Strength."
Gorillas are peaceful animals but can be fierce when necessary. Like the gorilla, our #NROL108 mission is constantly vigilant and ready to defend its own, demonstrating NRO's commitment to protecting U.S. warfighters, interests, and allies. Launch scheduled NET Dec. 17 w/ @SpaceX pic.twitter.com/M5k7obXk08— NRO (@NatReconOfc) December 14, 2020
The launch will take place at NASA's Kennedy Space Center during a planned three-hour window that opens at 9 a.m. An exact liftoff time within that three-hour window has not yet been released.
This mission will mark the 31st launch this year for SpaceX.