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SpaceX Launches Classified Military Drone Despite Hurricane Irma

SpaceX has successfully launched a classified Air Force drone from the NASA Space Kennedy Center as the ferocious Hurricane Irma caused severe weather.

The company used the Falcon 9 rocket to launch the Air Force space plane around 10 a.m. E.T. on Thursday, despite warnings that the weather was only 50% favorable.

Irma was thought to be around 900 miles southeast of the center at the time of lift-off.

It is the fifth time that the Air Force has launched the 11,000-pound autonomous rocket, but the first time that they have used SpaceX, according to Bloomberg. The Falcon 9 rocket won military accreditation back in May 2015, ending the monopoly of a joint venture by Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp.

The Air Force has been secretive about these unmanned autonomous missions for years, Bloomberg added. The most recent X-37B mission spent more than 700 days circling the Earth and ended in May. They are only launched every few years.