Sunday, 22 April, 2018

Secret SpaceX 'Zuma' launch scheduled for Sunday

1_3_Falcon 9 Satnews Daily
Glenn Montgomery | 08 January, 2018, 04:55

SpaceX on Sunday blasted off a secretive U.S. government payload known as Zuma, a mission whose nature - and the agency behind it - remains a mystery.

The launch window opens at 8 p.m. and closes at 10 p.m.

Among the few concrete details, however, is the launch's contractor, Northrop Grumman, who was selected by the USA government to find a rocket for the launch, hence the use of Falcon 9. Falcon 9 rocket will return to Landing Zone 1 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Sunday night's launch will be streamed live online.

Originally planned for a November launch, the mysterious Zuma mission may finally go to space on Sunday evening.

"Everybody involved with the mission is pretty tight-lipped about it", Space.com reported past year.

SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk's goal is to ideal the technique so that rockets can one day become just as reusable as airplanes, thereby lowering the cost of space travel.

Last year was a banner year for SpaceX, with 18 launches. This is SpaceX's third classified mission, and arguably its most secretive flight for the USA military.

SpaceX launched Zuma from its SLC-40 launch facility at Cape Canaveral in Florida, which was used instead of its other launch facility at Cape Canaveral because that was being employed for preparations for the launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket. So far, five "flight proven" boosters have flown for a second time. It wasn't until earlier in January that the company was able to confirm a hard time or date for the launch.

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