emfizz.com January 17, 2018

Drone footage reveals SpaceX's mighty Falcon Heavy ready for demonstration test

05 January 2018, 01:10 | Bernard Bryant

Drone footage reveals SpaceX's mighty Falcon Heavy ready for demonstration test

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying supplies to the International Space Station lifts off at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida last month

Follow along on Instagram as Teslarati's launch photographer and correspondent Tom Cross provides behind-the-scenes live coverage of both the launch of Zuma (NET January 5) and the final operations ahead of Falcon Heavy's first launch. Northrop Grumman has been identified as the company responsible for the launch on behalf of the United States government. However, the sort of single-use separation motors would run counter to SpaceX's primary pursuit of completely reusable rockets.

The PAN satellite was used by the National Security Agency to spy on conversations routed through communications satellites above the Middle East, according to documents obtained by The Intercept a year ago.

Zuma was originally scheduled for January 4th, but weather issues in the area forced SpaceX to postpone it by a day. And although it was expected to make its first test flight in 2013, a host of delays and setbacks forced SpaceX to push back its launch date.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket (in the center, in a horizontal position), is readied for launch on a supply mission to the International Space Station on historic launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., February 17, 2017. That launch is now scheduled for January 15, so be sure to mark your calendars. The entrepreneur said, "I love the thought of a auto drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future". The rocket-which will be "the most powerful operational rocket in the world"-is set to lift off for the first time later this month".

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"They are stabilizing a transportation system that is increasingly reliable", he said.

So how did SpaceX manage to land one of the government's biggest projects? John Logsdon serves as professor emeritus at George Washington University's Space Policy Institute.

"The NRO made up its mind that SpaceX was OK to launch payloads", he said. "That should send shivers down the spine of ULA right now".

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