SpaceX’s latest launch of the year will boost a spy satellite on Friday

SpaceX in 2020 sent astronauts in orbit for the first time and I saw the explosive debut of its latest prototype spaceship. But it has yet another launch planned to wrap up 2020.

A Falcon 9 rocket is ready to send a new spy satellite into space for the United States National Reconnaissance Office Friday morning from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch was originally scheduled for Thursday morning but was postponed a day after erratic blood pressure readings triggered a self-abortion.

The classified national security mission is designated NROL-108 and will be the sixth launch of 2020 for the NRO.

Like most of the other NRO launches, this one has a somewhat cryptic poster and slogan, in the form of a cartoon gorilla beating its chest and the phrase “peace through strength”.

“Gorillas are peaceful animals but they can be ferocious when needed,” the NRO explained on Twitter. “Like the gorilla, ours # NROL108 the mission is constantly vigilant and ready to defend its own “.

A recent NRO mission, launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on November 13, featured a mysterious Lord of the Rings theme, including an elven script.

“I think we only have a few fans of The Lord of the Rings,” an NRO spokesperson later told me via email.

The weather forecast looks favorable for the mission to take off on Friday during its three-hour launch window between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. PT (9 a.m. to noon ET). The Falcon 9 first stage booster will attempt to land on the ground at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

SpaceX will be streaming the launch and you can watch it above.