SpaceX launches secret satellite Zuma on 1st flight of year

08 January, 2018, 04:54 | Author: Tracy Craig
  • SpaceX secretly launched Zuma spacecraft Media Reports

All that is publicly known about the Zuma payload is that it is a satellite manufactured for the United States government by Northrop Grumman, and it is bound for low-Earth orbit.

After the 8 p.m. blastoff from Launch Complex 40, the rocket booster zoomed right back to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, announcing its return with ear-splitting sonic booms as it touched down on legs south of the launch site.

It's also SpaceX's third such launch for the United States government, with previous payloads including a spy satellite and the X-37B space plane.

If all goes according to plan, the mission will be SpaceX's first launch of 2018.

Piers Morgan's Life Stories: Caitlyn Jenner
Morgan, however, insisted that he brought out the doll for a "genuine education", and asked, "How does your physique compare now". A few people took to Morgan's Twitter account to tell him off for his insensitive approach to the question.

Skies were clear enough for viewers on the Space Coast to see the rocket's two stages separate, briefly producing a sort of laser light show in the clouds, then follow the first stage as it flew back to Landing Zone 1.

That is a move from the nearby NASA-owned Kennedy Space Center, where the launch was originally planned in November. The company has said it plans to launch roughly 30 missions in 2018 after completing a record 18 past year.

Last year was a banner year for SpaceX, with 18 launches. The reusable rocket landed about seven minutes after liftoff, SpaceX said. 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. The two-hour launch window opens at 8pm ET.

The unmanned Falcon rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Sunday night, carrying the satellite toward an undisclosed orbit.

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