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SpaceX rocket blasts off from Cape Canaveral

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying six satellites has blasted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

NASA's Nova-C lunar lander, encapsulated within the payload fairing of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, part of the Intuitive Machines IM-1 mission, is docked at the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A as part of its launch preparations, in Florida. Image AAP

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying six satellites has successfully launched from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. 

The rocket on the classified USSF-124 mission for the Space Force blasted off from Canaveral's Space Launch Complex 40 on Thursday AEDT under blue skies. 

The first-stage booster made its seventh flight and another recovery touchdown at Canaveral's Landing Zone 2, bringing with it sonic booms that could be heard on the Space Coast. 

The payloads include two satellites for the Missile Defence Agency (MDA) and four satellites for the Space Development Agency (SDA) headed to low-Earth orbit, according to the Space Force's Space Systems Command. It's the 11th National Security Space Launch on a SpaceX rocket. 

The MDA satellites are prototypes to help track hypersonic and ballistic missiles that "will work in tandem with radars based on land and at sea, and recently deployed Space Force tracking satellites to demonstrate and study how they can track hypersonic threats and provide targeting data for intercept," according to the Space Force. 

The SDA satellites are the final four of the Tranche 0 constellation that includes "19 optically-connected data transport satellites and eight missile warning/missile tracking satellites equipped with wide-field-of-view sensors," according to the Space Development Agency. 

"With each national security launch, we continue to strengthen America's capabilities and its deterrence in the face of growing threats while adding stability to a very dynamic world," said Space Systems Command's Colonel Jim Horne. 

"It's what we do in the Space Force, and we take that charge seriously." 

The USSF-124 launch marks the 13th mission from SpaceX's launch pads already in 2024, part of a year CEO Elon Musk has said could see as many as 150 launches. 

It's the ninth launch from the Space Coast for the year, with all but one coming from SpaceX.


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