SpaceX launches secretive Zuma mission

08 January, 2018, 04:52 | Author: Myrtle Cook
  • 1_3_Falcon 9 Dragon

Last year was a banner year for SpaceX, with 18 launches.

Sunday's launch will also include a landing attempt of the Falcon 9's first stage at Landing Zone 1.

SpaceX successfully sent something into space for the U.S. government, and that may be all we'll ever know about the so-called "Zuma" mission that Elon Musk's commercial space company completed from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida Sunday evening. It did, however, successfully land the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage.

Launch attempt of SpaceX Zuma mission. The Zuma payload was built by Northrop Grumman for the US government, but additional information about the satellite is not available.

That mission last summer was observed flying close to the International Space Station, at a time when two USA cargo craft arrived or departed. SpaceX said it needed to review a potential issue with the Falcon 9 rocket's nose cone that cropped up in testing.

More news: John Millman ready to go again after near miss at Brisbane International

It carries the Zuma spacecraft, which has had repeated launch delays since November.

The company aims to top that total this year, flying from three launch pads - at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Kennedy Space Center and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

SpaceX's first mission of 2018 has more than its share of mystery. It's likely the feed will go live around 7:45pm ET, a few minutes prior to the launch window.

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. 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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