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Technology SpaceX Has Launched the U.S. Government's Secretive 'Zuma' Spacecraft Into Orbit

14:28  08 january  2018
14:28  08 january  2018 Source:   time.com

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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

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.

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.

The U.S. Spy Satellite Launched by SpaceX Failed to Reach Orbit

  The U.S. Spy Satellite Launched by SpaceX Failed to Reach Orbit A U.S. spy satellite that was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a SpaceX rocket on Sunday failed to reach orbit and is assumed to be a total loss, two U.S. officials briefed on the mission said on Monday. The classified intelligence satellite, built by Northrop Grumman, failed to separate from the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket and is assumed to have broken up or plunged into the sea, said the two officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.The satellite is assumed to be “a write-off,” one of the officials said.The presumed loss of the satellite was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

SpaceX successfully completed its first launch of 2018 Sunday night, sending a highly secretive U . S . government spacecraft into orbit . SpaceX Has Launched the U . S . Government ' s Secretive ' Zuma ' Spacecraft Into Orbit .

SpaceX lofted the super-secret Zuma spacecraft for the U . S . government tonight (Jan. The booster' s two stages separated 2 minutes and 19 seconds into flight. If Zuma is a national-security mission, it wouldn't be the first one that SpaceX has launched .

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.

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