Published: Mon, January 08, 2018
Research | By Derrick Holloway

SpaceX to launch mysterious Zuma spacecraft from Cape Canaveral

SpaceX to launch mysterious Zuma spacecraft from Cape Canaveral

After a almost two-month delay, the rocket is set to blast off sometime during a two-hour launch window, which opens at 8 p.m. The rocket's first stage will attempt a controlled landing back on Earth at Landing Zone 1.

SpaceX is scheduled to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida's Kennedy Space Center this evening, carrying a secretive US government payload known as "Zuma" to low-Earth orbit.

Originally scheduled to launch in November, problems with the rocket caused officials to delay plans by several weeks.

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This will be SpaceX's first launch of 2018.

But now conditions for the mysterious mission are 80-percent go, weather-wise, in Florida. The Zuma landing marks SpaceX's 21st successful landing.

SpaceX yesterday blasted off a secretive United States government payload known as Zuma, a mission whose nature - and the agency behind it - remains a mystery. 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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Launch attempt of SpaceX Zuma mission. The Zuma payload was built by Northrop Grumman for the USA government, but additional information about the satellite is not available.

SpaceX has launched national security payloads in the past, including a spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office, and an X-37B space plane for the US Air Force.

After launch, SpaceX returned the tall portion of the Falcon 9 rocket to an upright landing at Cape Canaveral.

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