Published: Fri, November 17, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

SpaceX Will Launch the "Zuma" Spacecraft Today

SpaceX Will Launch the

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying classified NROL-76 surveillance satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office successfully launches shortly after sunrise from Launch Complex 39A on 1 May 2017 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

We can further confirm that the launch was postponed a day to Thursday from the originally Wednesday night target ostensibly to deal with last minute 'mission assurance.

If successful, it would mark the eighth time the company will have landed at Landing Zone 1.

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If all goes according to plan, Zuma will now lift off atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Friday from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, during a window that opens at 8 p.m. EST (0100 GMT on November 18).

Residents of the communities of Cape Canaveral, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island, Mims, Port Canaveral, Port St. John, Rockledge, Scottsmoor, Sharpes, and Titusville, Florida, are most likely to hear a sonic boom, although what Brevard County residents experience will depend on weather conditions and other factors. While Zuma is shrouded in mystery, you can at least watch it leave Earth live via SpaceX's webcast.

SpaceX is targeting a two-hour window that opens at 8 launch the mysterious mission codenamed "Zuma", which Northrop Grumman has confirmed is a "U.S. government" payload.

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It has a clear focus, the African Wildlife Foundation has pointed out, "on promoting the hunting industry, not conservation". The group, which does not oppose all hunting, is considering bringing legal action to block the policy change, Pepper said.

"Northrop Grumman is proud to be a part of the Zuma launch‚" said Lon Rains‚ communications director at Northrop Grumman's Space Systems Division.

Northrop Grumman is the payload provider, according to Popular Mechanics. "This event represents a cost-effective approach to space access for government missions".

For now, it all remains under wraps and only those directly involved know exactly what Zuma may be up to.

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