HAWTHORNE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today SpaceX confirmed that the company is targeting the launch of NROL-76 aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The two hour launch window opens on Sunday, April 30, at 7:00 a.m. EDT.
If needed, a two hour backup launch window opens on Monday, May 1, at 7:00 a.m. EDT.
In addition to the primary mission of NROL-76 to orbit, SpaceX is attempting the secondary mission of landing the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket on land at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Landing Zone 1. SpaceX has landed a first stage booster at Landing Zone 1 three times prior to this mission. SpaceX has successfully recovered Falcon 9 first stages from six missions at sea using the company’s Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ships. Landing Zone 1 is built on the former site of Space Launch Complex 13, a U.S. Air Force rocket and missile testing range.
As with the return of the first stage from the CRS-10 mission, there is the possibility that residents of Brevard, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia counties may hear one or more sonic booms during the landing attempt. Residents of Brevard County are most likely to hear a sonic boom, although what residents experience will depend on weather conditions and other factors. A sonic boom is a brief thunder-like noise a person on the ground hears when an aircraft or other vehicle flies overhead faster than the speed of sound.
Residents may wish to follow the company’s launch webcast for real time information concerning Monday’s launch. The webcast will be available at SpaceX.com/webcast beginning at approximately 6:45 a.m. ET on April 30.
SpaceX designs, manufactures, and launches the world's most advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk to revolutionize space transportation, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets. Today, SpaceX is advancing the boundaries of space technology through its Falcon launch vehicles and Dragon spacecraft. SpaceX is a private company owned by management and employees, with minority investments from Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Valor Equity Partners, Google and Fidelity. The company has more than 5,000 employees in California, Texas, Washington, D.C., Washington State and Florida. For more information, visit www.spacex.com.