First SpaceX launch of 2018 carries a secret payload


SpaceX on Sunday blasted off a secretive United States government payload known as Zuma, a mission whose nature - and the agency behind it - remains a mystery.

SpaceX is scheduled to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida's Kennedy Space Center this evening, carrying a secretive USA government payload known as "Zuma" to low-Earth orbit.

SpaceX launched Zuma from its SLC-40 launch facility at Cape Canaveral in Florida, which was used instead of its other launch facility at Cape Canaveral because that was being employed for preparations for the launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket.

This will be SpaceX's first launch of 2018.

The mission, code named "Zuma", is a Falcon-9 rocket launch, but it is unclear what the rocket is carrying.

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The spokesperson also said that Zuma is heading to low-Earth orbit.

Sunday's launch will also include a landing attempt of the Falcon 9's first stage at Landing Zone 1. The launch was originally scheduled for late November, but was repeatedly delayed.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers the closest public viewing of launches with the purchase of a launch viewing/transportation ticket.

CEO Elon Musk says the heavy-lift launcher's debut test flight - carrying his own Tesla Roadster sports vehicle into space - is possible from KSC before the end of this month.

SpaceX is slated to launch the top-secret government mission Zuma from Cape Canaveral Sunday night.