SpaceX launches secretive Zuma mission

08 January, 2018, 04:34 | Author: Rolando Keller
  • 1_3_Falcon 9 Dragon

The Falcon 9 rocket will carry Zuma, a USA government spacecraft, into low-Earth orbit. The two-hour launch window begins at 8 p.m.

The launch was initially supposed to take place in November but was postponed so the California-based company could take a closer look at potential problems with the fairing, or the nose cone part of the rocket that protects the payload.

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

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.

The webcast of the launch did not follow the second stage carrying the payload after it separated from the first stage.

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SpaceX just sent a secret government mission to space.

Sunday night's launch will be streamed live online.

Defence contractor Northrop Grumman Corp was assigned to choose which company would launch the restricted payload, and it selected SpaceX's Falcon 9, calling it a cost effective option, said Lon Rains, a Northrop Grumman spokesman, before the launch. Earlier this week additional propellant loading tests contributed to further delays, as did "extreme weather" at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida-mostly gusty winds.

After a record 18 launches in 2017, this mission will be SpaceX's first flight of the new year.

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