Secret SpaceX 'Zuma' launch scheduled for Sunday

08 January, 2018, 04:32 | Author: Yolanda Murray
  • SpaceX launches secret Zuma craft for US government

SpaceX is scheduled to launch an undisclosed national security payload on Sunday night. The two-hour launch window opens at 8pm ET.

The Zuma launch was initially planned for November, but was delayed due to issues with the fairing, which houses the payload on its way to being deployed into orbit around Earth.

The Falcon 9 lifted off at 8 p.m. EST (0100 GMT on January 9) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, on Florida's Space Coast.

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SpaceX tweeted that weather conditions are now 80 per cent favourable for Monday, and that it's completed yet more pre-launch testing, so all looks as good to go on paper as firing a giant canister of rocket fuel and secret technology into the sky can be. This is SpaceX's third classified mission, and arguably its most secretive flight for the U.S. military.

The Falcon 9 rocket will carry Zuma, a USA government spacecraft, into low-Earth orbit.

The launch is SpaceX's first in what is expected to be a busy year.

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The webcast of the launch did not follow the second stage carrying the payload after it separated from the first stage. The Zuma landing marks SpaceX's 21st successful landing.

Success on Sunday will clear the way for SpaceX's next launch from Florida, the much anticipated test flight of the Falcon Heavy booster. SpaceX landed the rocket's first stage for reuse in a future launch, a key step in its goal to drive down the cost of access to space.

SpaceX just sent a secret government mission to space.

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