SpaceX launches secret Zuma craft for USA government

SpaceX launches secret Zuma craft for USA government

SpaceX launches secret Zuma craft for USA government

Since November 2017, all that is known about the mission is it involves a spacecraft supposedly commissioned by an agency under the USA government. The Falcon 9 rocket will now deliver the satellite into orbit.

But it's specific orbit wasn't disclosed, and whether the Zuma has a military or civilian applications or which agency will operate it are also under tight wraps.

Northrop Grumman, an American aerospace and defence technology company, acknowledged that it arranged the launch on the U.S. government's behalf and said the payload would be launched into a low-Earth orbit.

For example, SpaceX's launch of a top-secret space drone last September was disclosed as a Boeing (BA) X-37B for the Air Force.

Last night's launch is SpaceX's first of the year and its 20th first stage landing to date.

Northrop shares were virtually unchanged at 308.30 on the stock market today.

The unmanned Falcon rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral on time at 8 p.m. with a brilliant flame visible for hundreds of miles. The launch was originally scheduled for November 2017, but the mission was delayed so SpaceX could review data from a fairing test.

Another highly anticipated SpaceX launch will feature the world's most powerful operational rocket named Falcon Heavy.

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