SpaceX Will Launch the "Zuma" Spacecraft Today

17 November, 2017, 01:51 | Author: Jacqueline Daniels
  • Space X's Falcon 9

The National Reconnaissance Office, the government defense agency responsible for USA spy satellites, has not released any statement on the impending launch. Although the public has many questions about the payload-codenamed "Zuma"-those working on the mission have supplied limited information".

The privately-owned space transportation firm SpaceX will launch an orbital payload Thursday, but no one is saying who owns the satellite or what it will do. As Florida Today said, SpaceX is no stranger to launching top secret missions, including a spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office and another payload for the Department of Defense.

Elon Musk
REUTERS Mario AnzuoniCEO and founder of SpaceX Elon Musk

"The Zuma payload is a restricted payload. Now targeting November 16 for launch - rocket and payload remain healthy‚ and the teams will use the extra day to conduct additional mission assurance work".

Zuma satellite mission patch.

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There is a general feeling within the company that this is an important launch for SpaceX, as it will be the third national security mission, and if successful it would validate the company as a major player to meet the country's military launch needs at a time when the US Congress is pushing the Air Force to rely on US made rocket engines.

The delay has another upside: Weather conditions are 90 percent "go" for the Thursday attempt and greater than 90 percent "go" in the event of a delay to Friday, according to the Air Force's 45th Weather Squadron.

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The covert haul is due to launch between 8pm and 10pm EST from NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida.

Launch Window: 10 p.m.

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If all goes according to plan, Zuma will now lift off atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Friday from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, during a window that opens at 8 p.m. EST (0100 GMT on November 18).

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