Watch SpaceX launch a secret mission-codename: Zuma-into space tonight

17 November, 2017, 01:54 | Author: Marie Harrington
  • True Story: The US Is Sending 'Zuma' Into Space

SpaceX is no stranger to national security launches.

Mysterious CLIO payload shrouded beneath 4-meter-diameter payload fairing in this up close view of the top of the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket prior to launch from Space Launch Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The payload will be launched by the company's Falcon 9 rocket. Deepening the mystery is that no government agency has claimed the payload. It's not even known which part of the federal government the payload belongs to. Northrop Grumman, a defense contract company, announced that it is involved in the launch, but their exact role is unclear, according to

"The US Government assigned Northrop Grumman the responsibility of acquiring launch services for this mission", Northrop Grumman's strategic communications director Lon Rains told me in an emailed statement.

True Story: The US Is Sending 'Zuma' Into Space

On Thursday, SpaceX will attempt to launch its third and most secretive payload for the military.

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

Elon Musk's SpaceX is launching a secret U.S. government payload into space atop a Falcon 9 rocket - known only by its codename 'Zuma'. Some people along Florida's coast will hear a loud sonic boom as the rocket returns from space, which is probably more than we'll ever officially hear about what Zuma actually is. The launch will take place from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and SpaceX will also attempt recovery of the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket at its LZ-1 landing pad at Cape Canaveral.

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