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Rocket Launch: May 1 SpaceX Falcon 9 NROL-76

May 01, 2017 07:15 AM Kennedy Space Center Rocket Launch: SpaceX Falcon 9 NROL-76

Witness liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A carrying a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. SpaceX will attempt to land the Falcon 9 first stage on landing Zone 1 (LZ1) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.


Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers the closest public viewing of launches with the purchase of a launch transportation/viewing ticket. Availability of viewing opportunities and locations is dependent upon the scheduled launch time and is subject to NASA and U.S. Air Force approval. 

Due to the early morning launch time, no launch viewing opportunities are available at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

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Launch date, time, and viewing opportunities are subject to change. Launches can be affected by technical and mechanical issues as well as range operations and weather, either in advance or at the last minute. Learn more about our Launch Scrub Policy.


Falcon 9 is SpaceX’s two-stage rocket manufactured to successfully transport satellites and the Dragon spacecraft into orbit. Currently the only rocket fully designed and developed in the 21st century, Falcon 9 delivers payloads to space aboard the Dragon spacecraft or inside a composite fairing. With a minimal number of separation events and nine first-stage Merlin engines, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is designed so that even if two of the engines shut down, the rocket can still operate. Falcon 9’s first stage incorporates nine Merlin engines and aluminum-lithium alloy tanks containing liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene (RP-1) propellant. The first stage of Falcon 9 can also be returned from space to land upright on one of two autonomous spaceport drone ships (ASDS) in the ocean or on land at Cape Canaveral Landing Zone 1 (LZ1) with the goal of reusing the returned first stages. The second stage, powered by a single Merlin vacuum engine, delivers Falcon 9’s payload to the desired orbit. In 2012, SpaceX became the first commercial space company to rendezvous with the International Space Station utilizing Dragon and Falcon 9. Although these flights have not transported crew, SpaceX is working toward their goal of transporting astronauts to space in Crew Dragon.


Rocket Launch: May 1 SpaceX Falcon 9 NROL-76