SpaceX Will Launch the "Zuma" Spacecraft Today

SpaceX Will Launch the

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

SpaceX is launching a top-secret payload into space today, and while we can't know what's in it, we do get to watch it go up. The mission was not even made public until a launch license was released a month ago, and the company didn't acknowledge the launch until this last week.

Grumman, an American military and defense contractor, has confirmed that the US government asked it to put together the launch, but little is known about the payload.

Since earning certification from the Air Force to launch national security payloads-typically spy satellites and military communications satellites-SpaceX has flown two military missions.

Cosmic communities? Newly discovered exoplanet could be home to alien life
When the ELT comes online, "It shall provide both the collecting power and the angular resolution to observe Ross 128 b directly". More exoplanets are being discovered by astronomers due in part to tools like HARP and ESO's Extremely Large Telescope .

Static fire test of Falcon 9 complete-targeting November 15 launch of Zuma from Pad 39A in Florida. "Teams will use the extra day to conduct some additional mission assurance work in advance of launch". But the most interesting part of the mission might be the payload itself - dubbed "Zuma", we know nearly nothing else about the mysterious spacecraft. Zuma is the codename given to a top secret military payload being sent into orbit from Nasa's Kennedy Space Centre in the United States aboard a Falcon 9 rocket built by the company SpaceX.

Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news.

Mysterious CLIO payload shrouded beneath 4-meter-diameter payload fairing in this up close view of the top of the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket prior to launch from Space Launch Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

What is known is that one of Space X's Falcon 9 rockets will be launched into low-earth orbit.

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