SpaceX launches secret satellite on 1st flight of year

Team Vandenberg supported the successful launch of 10 Iridium satellites on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-4 Oct. 9 at 5:37 a.m. PDT Vandenberg Air Force Base Calif

Team Vandenberg supported the successful launch of 10 Iridium satellites on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-4 Oct. 9 at 5:37 a.m. PDT Vandenberg Air Force Base Calif

The Zuma mission was supposed to take place in mid-November, but SpaceX put it on hold to investigate the results of testing for another customer. Pacific. The rocket will be launching from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

The satellite will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 from the private company's recently renovated pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Friday, Jan. 5, between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Today, Elon Musk's SpaceX will launch "Zuma", a mysterious government spacecraft of unknown objective, on one of its partially-reusable Falcon 9 two-stage rockets from Launch Complex 40 at Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla, has said there is a good chance the new rocket could blow up, thus his own personal property will be the payload on top: his Tesla Roadster. But Sunday's launch is perhaps the company's most secretive yet.

Nothing is really known about Zuma other than that it was commissioned by Northrop Grumman for an unknown customer and that it's "targeting an insertion position somewhere in low Earth orbit", per TechCrunch.

Zuma payload was prepared by Northrop Grumman with SpaceX on behalf of the US government.

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The company executed its signature move: guiding the first-stage rocket booster back to Earth for a safe landing.

The Falcon Heavy has suffered multiple delays.

SpaceX ended launch commentary five minutes into the flight, due to the classified nature of the satellite.

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The Zuma launch is the first of up to 30 or so SpaceX flights planned for 2018 following a record 18-launch year in 2017. The monstrous rocket will have three times the thrust of the Falcon 9.

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