Secret SpaceX 'Zuma' launch scheduled for Sunday

In this image made with a long exposure the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station as seen from in Viera Fla. Sunday Jan. 7 2018. SpaceX has launched a secret satellite codenamed Zuma on its first flight of the new year

In this image made with a long exposure the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station as seen from in Viera Fla. Sunday Jan. 7 2018. SpaceX has launched a secret satellite codenamed Zuma on its first flight of the new year

SpaceX on Sunday night picked up where it left off in 2017, its best year yet with 18 launches and no failures.

The company's first successful Falcon 9 rocket launch of 2018 was also probably the most secretive in the company's history.

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.

Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp successfully launched its first mission of the new year: a classified payload for the United States government into low-earth orbit.

SpaceX cut off its broadcast of the mysterious Zuma mission a few minutes into the flight to protect its secrecy.

The mission - referred to as code name Zuma - took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on a Falcon 9 rocket.

That mission last summer was observed flying close to the International Space Station, at a time when two USA cargo craft arrived or departed.

Among the few concrete details, however, is the launch's contractor, Northrop Grumman, who was selected by the USA government to find a rocket for the launch, hence the use of Falcon 9.

The rocket, carrying its secret payload called "Zuma", lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET. The rocket was rolled to the launch pad for tests in late December, and a critical static firing of its 27 engines should come within a week or so of the Zuma mission.

While it isn't exactly clear what the Zuma mission is or precisely who it's for, we do have some clues.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.