SpaceX Falcon 9 Finally Launches Mysterious Zuma Spacecraft Into Orbit — Watch

1_3_Falcon 9

SpaceX Has Launched the US Government's Secretive 'Zuma' Spacecraft Into Orbit

However, almost nothing else is known about what's on board as neither SpaceX nor the US government have responded to queries.

IBTimes UK could not independently verify any of the claims. SpaceX has also declined to give details about the spacecraft.

Unlike the private aerospace company's previous classified launches for the military's National Reconnaissance Office and the super-secret space-plane it took into orbit for the Air Force, there is almost no information available about the Zuma payload.

SpaceX began the new year with a mystery-shrouded mission to deliver a government spacecraft, called Zuma, into orbit. The rocket has already reached to the launch site.

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Northrop Grumman built the satellite, code-named Zuma, and was responsible for choosing the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle, both officials said.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket has an engine that, once it stops, is supposed to prompt a separation where the rocket continues on its own trajectory, and whatever the rocket was carrying takes off on a separate trajectory.

Shotwell said no changes are expected in SpaceX's upcoming launch schedule "since the data reviewed so far indicates that no design, operational or other changes are needed".

She continued: "Falcon Heavy has been rolled out to launchpad LC-39A for a static fire later this week, to be followed shortly thereafter by its maiden flight". The rocket's first stage was a controlled landing back on Earth at Landing Zone 1. The only answer received regarding the satellite was from Northup Grumman who is the maker of the satellite to be carried with the rocket.

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SpaceX initially tried to launch the rocket a few times in 2017, but scrubbed the missions for weather and other launch condition concerns.

The payload is suspected to have burned up in the atmosphere after it failed to separate properly from the upper part of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the report said.

After launch, SpaceX returned the tall portion of the Falcon 9 rocket to an upright landing at Cape Canaveral. No government agency stepped forward to claim the satellite, but industry experts estimate its cost to be billions of dollars. The California-based company aims to launch the Heavy by month's end, making its debut with chief executive Elon Musk's own personal Tesla Roadster on board.

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