SpaceX to launch a secret but significant payload Thursday ars_ab.settitle(1205153)

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1st stage accomplished successful ground landing at the Cape nine minutes later.

Northrop Grumman on #SpaceX Zuma launch: "This represents a cost effective approach to space access for government missions". Federal contractor Northrop Grumman was tasked with "acquiring launch services for this mission", per a statement to CNET, but about as much as it has to say is this: "We have taken great care to ensure the most affordable and lowest risk scenario for Zuma". "Teams will use the extra day to conduct some additional mission assurance work in advance of launch". As Florida Today said, SpaceX is no stranger to launching top secret missions, including a spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office and another payload for the Department of Defense. "Falcon 9 and Zuma went vertical last night on Pad 39A".

Launch Time: 8 p.m. It extends for two full hours until 10 a.m. EST. But the most interesting part of the mission might be the payload itself - dubbed "Zuma", we know nearly nothing else about the mysterious spacecraft. It will be SpaceX's 17th launch of the year, and the 45th flight of a Falcon 9 rocket since the commercial booster debuted in 2010.

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Zuma satellite mission patch. SpaceX will also attempt yet another landing and will guide the rocket's first stage to a landing site at Cape Canaveral.

Elon Musk's rocket company will be sending a mysterious payload known only as "Zuma" into low earth orbit from Cape Canaveral. In September a Falcon 9 rocket launched the Air Force's secretive X-37B "spaceplane" into orbit.

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