SpaceX launches secret government payload, brings rocket back home

SpaceX launches secret government payload, brings rocket back home

SpaceX plans to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The first launch this year carried a special payload - Zuma, a secretive spacecraft commissioned by the US government for an undisclosed mission.

As usual, SpaceX will stream the launch of the Falcon 9 mission, and the webcast should begin about 15 minutes before the launch window opens. The Zuma landing marks SpaceX's 21st successful landing.

SpaceX just sent a secret government mission to space.

But we still don't know what it sent to space before coming back home.

It's also SpaceX's third such launch for the United States government, with previous payloads including a spy satellite and the X-37B space plane.

More news: Katie Nolan tests ESPN's new politics policy by calling President Trump stupid

Nothing is really known about Zuma other than that it was commissioned by Northrop Grumman for an unknown customer and that it's "targeting an insertion position somewhere in low Earth orbit", per TechCrunch.

Originally planned for a November launch, the mysterious Zuma mission may finally go to space on Sunday evening.

The launch is SpaceX's first in what is expected to be a busy year.

Zuma could be a military satellite, an intelligence and reconnaissance satellite, or something unique and experimental.

It will be carrying a secret payload for the US government, code-named Zuma.

According to industry publication Spaceflight Now, the PAN and CLIO missions were unclaimed at launch, but it was revealed later that PAN was used to listen in on communications above the Middle East by the National Security Agency.

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