Tech & Science SpaceX Has Launched the U.S. Government's Secretive 'Zuma' Spacecraft Into Orbit

09:23  08 january  2018
09:23  08 january  2018 Source:   Time

A Triumphant Year for SpaceX

  A Triumphant Year for SpaceX The company's record-breaking 2017 and what it means for the science and business of rocketryThe final SpaceX launch of the year in the skies over California December 22

and a launch pad switch, SpaceX is finally ready to launch the classified Zuma spacecraft for Northrop Grumman and a shadowy U . S . government MECO will be followed at T+2 minutes and 24 seconds by ignition of the MVac engine on the second stage to push the secretive payload into orbit .

00:00 SpaceX Has Launched the U . S . Government ’ s Secretive ‘ Zuma ’ Spacecraft Into Orbit . In November 2017, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the government ' s classified Zuma mission stood on pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center.

In this handout provided by NASA, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Kennedy Space Center on June 3, 2017. © Bill Ingalls—NASA/Getty Images In this handout provided by NASA, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Kennedy Space Center on June 3, 2017.

SpaceX successfully completed its first launch of 2018 Sunday night, sending a highly secretive U.S. government spacecraft into orbit before carrying out an upright landing of the rocket’s first stage.

The classified payload, named Zuma, took off at around 8 p.m. from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on a Falcon 9 rocket and was sent into low-earth orbit. Little is known about the mission’s objectives.

SpaceX cut its live web feed shortly after separation of the payload from the rocket, citing the classified nature of its cargo. After delivery, the live video feed resumed to show the upright landing of the rocket’s first stage, which can be reused in future launches — a key component of the firm’s plan to slash the cost of space flights.

SpaceX prepares secret 'Zuma' satellite launch

  SpaceX prepares secret 'Zuma' satellite launch SpaceX is preparing to send into space a satellite for the US government that is so secret the public cannot know even which branch of the administration commissioned the launch.  A weather report ahead of the launch released on Tuesday described the conditions as excellent.Unlike the private aerospace company's previous classified launches for the military's National Reconnaissance Officeand the super-secret space-plane it took into orbit for the Air Force, there is almost no information available about the "Zuma" payload.

SpaceX ’ s Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Florida’ s Cape Canaveral under a veil of darkness Sunday night, both literally and figuratively with launch occurring at 1:00 UTC Monday morning, carrying into orbit the top-secret Zuma spacecraft which, from a public perspective, has all traits of a black project.

SpaceX is launching the topsecret ' Zuma ' mission tonight here' s what we know. By Admin on 30 December 2017. A top secret payload developed in secrecy for the U . S . government is set to ride into orbit from Florida’ s Space Coast aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Thursday.

Defense contractor Northrop Grumman selected Elon Musk’s SpaceX Technologies to carry out the Zuma launch, according to Bloomberg. Liftoff was originally scheduled for November, but was hit with several delays.

A Northrop Grumman spokesperson told Bloomberg that SpaceX provided the “most affordable and lowest risk scenario for Zuma.” The company has not disclosed which arm of the government it is working on behalf of.

SpaceX completed 18 launches last year, the most it has accomplished in a calendar year. It has said it’s aiming for around 30 missions this year.

This Year’s Corporate Space Race: Getting Ready for Astronauts, Then Tourists .
For the past seven years, American astronauts who need to get to the International Space Station have had only one option: Pay roughly $80 million to hitch a ride on a cramped Russian Soyuz rocket. Now Boeing Co. and Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. are preparing to ferry Americans to space for the first time since the Space Shuttle program went dark in 2011. If all goes well during a flurry of testing over the coming months, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner will carry two astronauts to orbit in November, followed by SpaceX’s Crew Dragon in December­.

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