SpaceX planned to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday, but the launch was essentially cancelled just seconds prior to the launch because there was a problem with a sensor on the first stage rocket.
Rather than risk a catastrophic failure or potentially undesirable results, SpaceX called the launch off, citing the following Monday as a possible launch retry date with favorable weather conditions.
The rocket was carrying a classified NROL-76 military reconnaissance satellite into orbit around the Earth for the United States government. What exactly it will be doing while it's in space isn't known at this point in time.
Fortunately for SpaceX and the contractor that ordered the launch, it looks like everything went according to plan, as SpaceX was able to launch its Falcon 9 rocket yesterday without any issues and put the satellite into orbit.
Image Credit: SpaceX
For SpaceX, it was a great achievement, because it was their first time working with the United States’ National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which is known for using other space companies for their launches instead.
As always, SpaceX landed the first stage rocket just after its primary mission of launching the payload was completed. The landing was conducted on solid ground this time around, rather than a drone ship in the middle of the ocean, but was successful nonetheless.
Cameras hosted all over the landing site and on the rocket body itself captured the beautiful rocket launch from various angles and can be observed in the following launch and landing video via YouTube:
This Falcon 9 rocket will likely be stockpiled for reusability at a later date, as SpaceX has already demonstrated the feasibility of launching, landing, and then re-using rockets again previously, which saves money and is also much more environmentally-friendly.