Private spaceflight company SpaceX on 7 January 2018 launched the secret Zuma Mission for the United States government. SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the secret Zuma spacecraft from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
SpaceX' live webcast did not show video coverage of the Zuma spacecraft after it separated from the first stage of the rocket, but confirmed that the payload was well on its way to low-Earth orbit.
Zuma Mission: A Secret
Zuma mission remains a secret as its nature or purpose and the agency behind it remains a mystery.
The Zuma mission was originally supposed to be launched in mid-November 2017, but was postponed so that the SpaceX could take a closer look at potential problems with the payload-fairing or the nose cone part of the rocket that protects the payload.
Northrup Grumman, Virginia-based aerospace and defence company and the maker of Zuma payload, offered no details of the mission. The only thing that remains known is that the mission is for the US government and will be delivered to low-Earth orbit.
SpaceX' record-breaking launches in 2017
California-based SpaceX, headed by Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, completed a record-setting 18 launches in 2017 and plans to do even more this year. Later in January 2018 itself, the company plans to debut its latest invention: the Falcon Heavy, a monstrous rocket that will have three times the thrust of the Falcon 9.
Zuma marks the third classified launch of SpaceX for the US government. The company previously launched a secret spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office in May 2017, and then launched the US Air Force's robotic X-37B space plane on a secret mission in September 2017.
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