A spaceX Falcon 9 rocket stands atop Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for a industrial satellite tv for pc launch in October 2017 on this file picture. SpaceX will launch the key Zuma mission for the U.S. authorities on Nov. 16, 2017.
SpaceX’s deliberate launch of a secret Zuma payload for the U.S. authorities has been delayed at the very least 24 hours to Thursday, firm representatives stated at this time (Nov. 15).
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled to launch the Zuma mission tonight between eight p.m. and 10 p.m. EST (zero100-0300 GMT) from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. But in an announcement launched early this morning, SpaceX representatives stated they had been pushing the launch to Thursday night time.
“SpaceX is now targeting Thursday, Nov. 16, for [the] launch of the Zuma mission,” SpaceX representatives stated within the badertion. “Both Falcon 9 and the payload remain healthy; teams will use the extra day to conduct some additional mission badurance work in advance of launch.”
The launch time for Zuma mission stays the identical, a two-hour window that opens Thursday night time at eight p.m. EST (zero100 GMT).
The nature of the federal government’s Zuma mission is a tightly-held secret, with few particulars identified in regards to the thriller payload tucked atop the Falcon 9. [Declbadified Spy Satellite Photos and Designs]
We do know that the aerospace and protection firm Northrop Grumman organized Zuma’s launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket for the federal government.
“The Zuma payload is a restricted payload,” Lon Rains, communications director for Northrop Grumman’s house methods division, instructed Space.com in an announcement. “It will be launched into low-Earth orbit.”
SpaceX representatives haven’t launched any particulars on the precise orbital vacation spot of Zuma, nor of the payload’s specs or supposed use. However, SpaceX is anticipated to land the primary stage of Zuma’s Falcon 9 rocket again on Earth lower than 10 minutes after liftoff on the firm’s Landing Zone 1 situated on the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, which is close to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
According to Rains, Zuma’s launch on the Falcon 9 is probably the most cost-effective and low-risk possibility for the mission.
“Northrop Grumman is proud to be part of the Zuma launch,” Rains stated. “The event represents a cost-effective approach to space access for government missions. As a company, Northrop Grumman realizes that this is a monumental responsibility and has taken great care to ensure the most affordable and lowest risk scenario for Zuma.”
Zuma’s launch will mark the third categorised mission for SpaceX for the U.S. authorities this 12 months.
On May 1, the corporate launched the NROL-76 spy satellite tv for pc for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. Then on Sept. 7, SpaceX launched robotic X-37B house airplane into orbit on the categorised OTV-5 mission for the U.S. Air Force. Both flights lifted off from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The Zuma launch will mark SpaceX’s 17th mission in 2017, all of which have been profitable. Thirteen of these missions have featured Falcon 9 first stage booster landings as a part of SpaceX’s ongoing work to develop reusable rockets and spacecraft to decrease the price of spaceflight.
SpaceX’s most up-to-date mission was the Oct. 30 launch of Koreasat-5A, a communications satellite tv for pc for the South Korean firm KT Sat.