Published: Mon, January 08, 2018
Sci-tech | By Bennie Mills

SpaceX successfully launches top-secret Zuma spacecraft

SpaceX successfully launches top-secret Zuma spacecraft

This launch has been delayed previously, in part due to weather, but the launch window opened again this evening at 5 p.m.

An undisclosed issue with the Falcon 9 rocket's fairing caused SpaceX to delay the launch for several weeks in November and eventually move the date forward to January 4. Few details have been released about the classified mission, known as Zuma, other than it includes a satellite built by Northrop Grumman Corp.

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

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The first launch this year carried a special payload - Zuma, a secretive spacecraft commissioned by the USA government for an undisclosed mission. Falcon 9 rocket will return to Landing Zone 1 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

SpaceX lofted the super-secret Zuma spacecraft for the US government tonight (Jan. 8), successfully executing a mission that also featured yet another landing by the first stage of the company's Falcon 9 rocket.

The booster's two stages separated 2 minutes and 19 seconds into flight.

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The launch is SpaceX's first in what is expected to be a busy year. But Sunday's launch is perhaps the company's most secretive yet. About all we know is that contractor and manufacturer Northrop Grumman booked the launch on behalf of the federal government.

SpaceX is slated to launch the top-secret government mission Zuma from Cape Canaveral Sunday night.

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