Zuma to be launched into orbit

Cesar Mills
November 17, 2017

And today, they're launching a mysterious payload for the US Government.

SpaceX is poised to launch on Thursday a secretive payload known as Zuma for the USA government, though the nature of the mission and the agency behind it remain a mystery.

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) - the government office responsible for operating spy satellites - would typically state when a satellite is theirs but will keep details of the mission secret. Although the public has many questions about the payload-codenamed "Zuma"-those working on the mission have supplied limited information".

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch
GETTYThe SpaceX launch is actually delivering a payload for a private defence contractor

"SpaceX is now targeting Thursday, Nov. 16 for launch of the Zuma mission", said SpaceX spokesman John Tayor. The payload was developed by Northrup Grumman, and has the mysterious name "Zuma", which sounds similar to a carbonated, alcoholic beverage briefly popular in the 1990s, Zima. "Falcon 9 and Zuma went vertical last night on Pad 39A". There are few clues in the launch's mission patch. It extends for two full hours until 10 a.m. EST. Lift-off has initially been scheduled for Wednesday, but has been postponed to Thursday, due to weather conditions. SpaceX will also attempt yet another landing and will guide the rocket's first stage to a landing site at Cape Canaveral.

Aside from the most basic facts ("Falcon 9 rocket will deliver the Zuma spacecraft to low-Earth orbit) about the mission, Space X has kept mum about the launch, which is known only as "Zuma". The webcast below should begin about 15 minutes before the launch window opens.

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