SpaceX poised to launch secretive Zuma mission

This image obtained from SpaceX shows the company's Falcon 9 rocket carrying the US Air Force's unmanned X-37B drone lifting off
This image obtained from SpaceX shows the company's Falcon 9 rocket carrying the US Air Force's unmanned X-37B drone lifting off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center on September 7, 2017

SpaceX is poised to launch on Thursday a secretive payload known as Zuma for the US government, though the nature of the mission and the agency behind it remain a mystery.

The launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled from Cape Canaveral, Florida sometime between 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm (0100 GMT and 0300 GMT Friday).

SpaceX and the Pentagon did not respond to requests for comment about the nature of the mission.

Northrup Grumman, the maker of the payload, said it was for the US government and would be delivered to low-Earth orbit, but offered no other details, according to Space.com.

SpaceX is no stranger to national security launches.

Earlier this year, the California-based company headed by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk launched a for the National Reconnaissance Office, and an X-37B space plane for the US Air Force.

After liftoff, SpaceX will attempt to return the first stage portion of its Falcon 9 rocket to Earth for a controlled landing on solid ground near Cape Canaveral.

If successful, it will be the 20th upright touchdown for a Falcon 9 since the company began its effort to recycle costly rocket parts and make spaceflight more affordable.


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Nov 16, 2017

"Get along now with you! Nothing here you are trusted to know of. Don't bother the little man behind the curtain. Cause the Mighty Oz has spoken!"

We are just the taxpayers. We do not need to know how our tax dollars are being spent.

Anyone care to bet against me, that Putin and Xi already have a complete report of this project, sitting on their respective desks?

Nov 17, 2017
"Zuma" Falcon 9 Spacex Launch and landing
Nov 17 2017 8pm ET (1am UK 18th)
https://www.youtu...UDCGC99Y

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