SpaceX's Zuma mission may finally be ready to zoom into space

SpaceX's Zuma mission may finally be ready to zoom into space

SpaceX's Zuma mission may finally be ready to zoom into space

This makes sense given that the relatively low orbit would SpaceX to bring the Falcon 9 first stage in for a landing back on land, rather than a drone ship at sea.

After a almost two-month delay, the rocket is set to blast off sometime during a two-hour launch window, which opens at 8 p.m. SpaceX plans to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Another launch attempt was set for January 4, but the bomb cyclone that brought heavy snow and winds to much of the East Coast last week further delayed the mysterious mission. The launch was originally scheduled for November 2017, but the mission was delayed so SpaceX could review data from a fairing test.

The current weather forecast predicts an 80 percent chance of favorable launch conditions.

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All that is publicly known about the Zuma payload is that it is a satellite manufactured for the USA government by Northrop Grumman, and it is bound for low-Earth orbit. (SpaceX has had 17 consecutive successful landings, so they're getting pretty good at this).

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.

SpaceX and the Pentagon did not respond to requests for comment about the nature of the mission. SpaceX landed the rocket's first stage for reuse in a future launch, a key step in its goal to drive down the cost of access to space.

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