Falcon 9 Rocket Ready for Classified NRO Satellite Delivery, First Stage Landing

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 is aiming for a Sunday liftoff from Florida’s Space Coast on the company’s first classified satellite delivery for the secretive National Reconnaissance Office in charge of operating all U.S. spy satellites.

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China’s Long March 3B Lofts Shijian-13 Satellite to Test High-Throughput Communications & Ion Drive

China’s Long March 3B rocket blasted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on Wednesday, lofting into orbit the country’s first high-throughput communications satellite that is set for an experimental mission to test out electric propulsion and laser communications.

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Orbital ATK Advances Next-Generation Launch Vehicle Design through Critical Review Stage

Orbital ATK on Monday announced major progress on the company’s Next Generation Launch Vehicle (NGL), outlining design details of an intermediate- and large-class space launch vehicle capable of serving the commercial and government launch market.

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ULA Receives Contract Modifications for 2020 National Reconnaissance Office Launches

The U.S. Air Force has awarded United Launch Alliance two launch contracts for classified National Reconnaissance Office Missions targeting liftoff in 2020 atop Atlas V and Delta IV Heavy rockets.

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Secretive X-37B Space Plane sets new Endurance Record

The U.S. Air Force X-37B OTV-4 spacecraft on Saturday surpassed the record for the longest flight duration of any mission in the clandestine program, marking 675 days in orbit for the small winged space plane on its current mission reportedly dedicated to a series of technical demonstrations and space experiments.

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Japan’s H-IIA successfully places Radar Reconnaissance Satellite in Orbit

Japan successfully launched a radar reconnaissance satellite into orbit on Friday to replenish the country’s fleet of intelligence-gathering satellites primarily dedicated to advance warning of hostile missile launches in Japan’s neighborhood.

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SpaceX Receives second GPS Navigation Satellite Launch Contract

The U.S. Air Force this week it had awarded SpaceX a launch contract for the third GPS III satellite with a targeted launch date in February 2019, marking SpaceX’s second competitively won GPS contract and ending a decade-long monopoly held by United Launch Alliance in the military launch business.

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Videos: Delta IV / WGS-9 Pre-Launch Processing

The ninth Wideband Global Satcom Satellite is encapsulated in its protective payload fairing and placed atop a Delta IV launch vehicle in preparation for a March 2017 liftoff to join the U.S. military’s worldwide high-capacity communications system keeping deployed troops connected.

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