SpaceX Launches Secret Zuma Mission for US Government, Lands Rocket


This still image from video courtesy of SpaceX shows the launch of SpaceX's secretive United States government payload known as Zuma at Cape Canaveral, Florida January 7, 2018.

Zuma's launch was delayed two months for what SpaceX called "fairing testing," referring to the part of its rockets that house the payload, and a few additional days after extreme weather hit the East Coast.

SpaceX now can look forward to its next major test for the year - launching its huge heavy-duty rocket for the first time ever.

It's still unclear where the Zuma mission will be heading.

The new nine-engine rocket will launch from pad 39A and will take the secret payload to a low orbit.

But now conditions for the mysterious mission are 80-percent go, weather-wise, in Florida.

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SpaceX has previously launched a pair of national security-related missions, a spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office and the robotic X-37B space plane for the U.S. Air Force.

SpaceX will then target a booster landing at nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Landing Zone 1.

The company's first successful Falcon 9 rocket launch of 2018 was also probably the most secretive in the company's history.

SpaceX just sent a secret government mission to space.

We do know that aerospace and defense company Northrop Grumman procured Zuma's launch atop a Falcon 9 for the USA government - but we don't know which agency will operate the satellite, or if its mission is civilian or military.

SpaceX has scheduled a live feed of the launch on YouTube (we've embedded it below!) but you can also watch along on's webcast page.