emfizz.com January 19, 2018

SpaceX's Zuma mission may finally be ready to zoom into space

08 January 2018, 04:05 | Jan Cross

Another view of the Falcon 9 during first stage flight. SpaceX

Another view of the Falcon 9 during first stage flight.               SpaceX

This will be SpaceX's first launch of 2018. The exact time of the launch has yet to be set, though SpaceX has set a two-hour window beginning at 12 AEDT.

"The U.S. government asked the aerospace and defense company Northrop Grumman to procure a launch vehicle, in this case the Falcon 9, for the Zuma launch", a company spokesperson said in November.

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

A Falcon 9 rocket carrying the secretive Zuma spacecraft will lift off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Sunday night.

But now conditions for the mysterious mission are 80-percent go, weather-wise, in Florida.

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The payload will be delivered to low Earth orbit, per the mission parameters, but we don't know anything else about its goal, design, or intended mission, because it's all classified.

According to Space.com, the launch will involve a re-entry attempt by the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral's Landing Zone 1 - SpaceX has pulled off 20 such re-entries previously. Aside from its name, little is known about the payload. (SpaceX has had 17 consecutive successful landings, so they're getting pretty good at this). It wasn't until earlier in January that the company was able to confirm a hard time or date for the launch.

The new nine-engine rocket will launch from pad 39A and will take the secret payload to a low orbit.

SpaceX just sent a secret government mission to space.

As usual, SpaceX will stream the launch of the Falcon 9 mission, and the webcast should begin about 15 minutes before the launch window opens.

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