SpaceX has confirmed that the company is targeting the launch of NROL-76 aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, the company said.
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, built on the former site of Space Launch Complex 13, a US 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 the most likely to hear a sonic boom, a brief thunder-like noise heard by a person on the ground when an aircraft or other vehicle flies overhead faster than the speed of sound.
SpaceX designs, manufactures, and launches rockets and spacecraft. The company is advancing the boundaries of space technology through its Falcon launch vehicles and Dragon spacecraft. It 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 DC, Washington State, and Florida.