Mystery NRO-108 mission gets launch order for SpaceX Falcon 9 launch in October

by | Oct 12, 2020 | Launches, Military space, Satellites, Seradata News, SpaceX

According to the US Space Force on behalf of the US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) has booked a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch to take place from the Cape Canaveral launch site in Florida on 25 October or soon afterwards. The launch had not been disclosed until recently via an FCC (Federal Communications Commission) regulatory filing. The mission has since been confirmed as a the NRO-108 mission for the US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).  The exact nature of the mission has not been disclosed but it is thought to be either a military data relay or an electronic intelligence satellite.

The Falcon 9’s first stage booster will return to Cape Canaveral after liftoff for a touchdown at Landing Zone 1 which indicates that the rocket has performance in hand to complete the mission if going to a geostationary orbit via a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) – i.e. that the satellite is relatively light –  or that the launch is going to a much lower orbit.

The Falcon 9 first stage makes a safe return to Landing Zone 1 during launch of SAOCOM-1B. Courtesy: SpaceX

National missions on behalf of the US military usually take priority on the Cape Canaveral range unless they are unavoidably delayed as happened with the ULA operated Delta 4 Heavy launch on NRO L-44.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles

Following a long series of delays SpaceX has managed to launch its lingering Starlink mission

On 4 March 2021 at 0824 GMT SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 vehicle from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, Read more

Not quite “Third time’s a charm” for SpaceX Spaceship prototype SN10 as it lands successfully but later explodes

Having had two explosive landing attempt failures with the SpaceX Starship prototypes SN8 and SN9 at its Boca Chica launch Read more

SpaceX successfully launches another Starlink batch but loses the first-stage during landing attempt (Updated)

Lifting off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 0359 GMT on 16 February, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried the second Read more

NASA awards launch contract to SpaceX and orders a lunar lander from Firefly

A NASA announcement on 4 February 2021 outlines the award of the SPHEREx launch contract to SpaceX. SPHEREx (Spectro-Photometer for Read more

SpaceX completes another Starlink launch

At 0619 GMT on 4 February, SpaceX launched another 60 Starlink satellites into LEO. The mission saw a Falcon 9 Read more

US Senators plead with Biden for more money for NASA human lunar lander

With just over one quarter of the funding it needed from Congress (US$850 million versus the US$3.2 billion requested) for Read more

Close but no cigar (again): like its predecessor Starship SN9 test flight goes well until explosive crash landing fires up FAA controversy further

Just as the Starship SN8 test launch ended in an explosive landing failure in December – after all the hard Read more

Businessman offers up US$100 million to part fund charity spaceflight on SpaceX Crew Dragon/Falcon 9 combo

The businessman/entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, 37, who is founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments, has chartered a SpaceX Crew Dragon flight Read more

Cookies & Privacy

Click here to read about use of cookies on the website