SpaceX will soon launch a satellite for the US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) in a mission called NROL-85. The launch will use one of the company’s Falcon 9 rockets to launch the NROL-85 spacecraft and will take place from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The launch will be livestreamed and we have the details for you to watch from home.
“The Falcon 9 first stage booster supporting this mission previously launched the NROL-87 mission in February 2022,” SpaceX writes. “Following stage separation, the Falcon 9 first stage will return and land on landing zone 4 at Vandenberg Space Force Base, California.”
The launch will be broadcast live by SpaceX, with coverage beginning approximately 15 minutes before launch. Coverage includes the countdown firing sequence, launch, rocket ascent and Max Q (the point of maximum loading of the rocket), then first and second stage separation, fairing deployment, and payload separation.
As is typical for SpaceX, the coverage will also include the landing of the first stage booster for future reuse. Reusable first stages have become SpaceX’s trademark, with the boosters typically landing on drone ships positioned at sea. This launch is somewhat unusual as the first stage will land on solid ground rather than in the ocean, but this is a feat SpaceX has managed in the past, with boosters having landed at Cape Canaveral in Florida on several previous occasions.
You can view the launch live stream either via the video embedded at the top of this page or by going to The SpaceX YouTube channel. Coverage begins today, Sunday, April 17 at approximately 9am ET (6am PT).
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