SpaceX launches secretive Zuma mission

A SpaceX Falcon9 rocket blasts off the launch pad in Feb. 2015 carrying the NOAA's Deep Space Climate Observatory spacecraft. The same type of rocket attempted to place a U.S. spy satellite in orbit on Sunday

SpaceX has confirmed that its rocket, and the undisclosed national security payload, are ready for launch, and weather conditions appear to be generally favorable.

United Launch Alliance, meanwhile, is close to starting its 2018 launch campaign with a pair of launches from two coasts.

Sunday temperatures will start out in the low 50s near the Cape Canaveral Air Force pad, with colder temperatures further inland.

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

"The U.S. government asked the aerospace and defense company Northrop Grumman to procure a launch vehicle, in this case the Falcon 9, for the Zuma launch", a company spokesperson said in November. This is SpaceX's third classified mission, and arguably its most secretive flight for the U.S. military. 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. (SpaceX has had 17 consecutive successful landings, so they're getting pretty good at this). The company has successfully launched "Zuma", a mysterious government payload, into orbit from Cape Canaveral.

For Sunday night's launch time, the orbital tracks of those three spacecraft - Zuma, the NRO satellite and the ISS - were no longer closely aligned, suggesting the missions might not be related after all. Although a launch date has not been set, it is likely to occur in late January or early February.

SpaceX has scheduled a live feed of the launch on YouTube (we've embedded it below!) but you can also watch along on Space.com's webcast page. SpaceX's press kit offers no details about the mysterious satellite.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top MPs propose 25p 'latte levy' on coffee cups
Jan 08, 2018 - 03:56
Britain could be set to introduce a blanket charge for use of disposal paper cups in what has been labeled a " latte levy ". Starbucks says that it has already tried to change consumer behaviour by discounting reusable cups at the point of sale.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Vikings will play Panthers-Saints victor in divisional round
Jan 08, 2018 - 03:52
It's a clash of two teams who made it to the Super Bowl - and one winning it - and neither have done much since. Carolina still lost 31-21, but the 2015 MVP feels he's a more effective player when not chained to the pocket.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Five Things To Know About Head Coach Jon Gruden
Jan 08, 2018 - 03:14
He returned to D.C.in 2004, and in four seasons ended up with a 30-34 record, leading the Redskins to two playoff appearances. The offence regressed after the decision to fire co-ordinator Bill Musgrave and replace him with untested Todd Downing.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Iran Accuses US of 'Grotesque' Meddling Through Social Media
Jan 07, 2018 - 01:18
Ben Evansky reports for Fox News on the United Nations and global affairs. "The people of Iran are crying out for freedom". She also called government of Iran to "stop censoring the voice of the people, and to restore the access to the Internet".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top TMZ: 'Coach' Star Jerry Van Dyke Dead at 86
Jan 07, 2018 - 01:10
Born and raised in Danville, Illi., Van Dyke started in stand-up before appearing on his brother's series in the early 1960s. Jerry's best known for his role on " Coach ". where he earned 4 Emmy nominations playing Asst. " Coach " co-star Craig T.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Palestinians say Jerusalem "not for sale" after Trump threatens to cut aid
Jan 06, 2018 - 03:48
On Twitter on Tuesday, Trump said "We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect ".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top California officially enters era of legal marijuana with new rules starting today
Jan 06, 2018 - 03:43
But proprietors, activists and consumers said such words aren't going to shut down the burgeoning marijuana industry. This completes one stage of a very long journey for us to be the largest distributor in the state of California .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Why 'Atlanta' Season 2 Is Called 'Robbin Season'
Jan 06, 2018 - 03:38
And will Glover add on subheads to future seasons of Atlanta? . "You laugh but that was a really good mini group that they did". Also, it's worth noting there's a song called " Robbin' Season " by Migos affiliate Shy Glizzy out of Washington, D.C.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Twitter asserts that it won't ban Trump because he's a world leader
Jan 06, 2018 - 03:37
The statement left open the possibility however that Twitter could remove specific tweets from political leaders which violate its policies.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top HP recalls 50000 Lithium-Ion Laptop Batteries worldwide
Jan 06, 2018 - 03:32
Accepting Battery Safety Mode causes the battery to discharge and to cease future charging until Battery Safety Mode is disabled. If you own a laptop, you already have the Meltdown and Spectre security flaws revealed earlier this week to worry about.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Dimitrov to face Kyrgios in Brisbane semis
Jan 06, 2018 - 03:20
Grigor Dimitrov reached the semi-finals of the Brisbane International while Elina Svitolina advanced to the finals on Friday. Dimitrov proceeded to leap over the net to check on Edmund , helping him get to his feet and hobble over to his chair.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Mega Millions, Powerball jackpots soar to a combined $1 billion
Jan 06, 2018 - 02:52
There were 167 prizes worth $1 million or more went unclaimed in fiscal 2017 alone, according to Jacobson's data. If there's no victor for Saturday's drawing, the next estimated jackpot for Powerball will be $725 million.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top 'I Didn't Trust Them'
Jan 05, 2018 - 14:45
Apart from taking aim at her fam in the Pier's interview, Cait also turned on the host when he asked a "disrespectful" question. Apparently Caitlyn Jenner didn't tell the Kardashians about her sexual reassignment surgery because she didn't trust them.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top 'Jeopardy!' on hiatus while Alex Trebek recovers from brain surgery
Jan 05, 2018 - 14:43
The production of long-running TV game show Jeopardy! will be on hiatus after its host Alex Trebek is recovering from surgery. He continued saying that two days after surgery, he was able to return home and his "prognosis is excellent".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Capcom has shared the development status of the Monster Hunter World
Jan 05, 2018 - 14:41
To celebrate the news, Capcom released a new trailer that shows off a bunch of new and returning monsters. One, named Dodogama, has a unique saliva that causes rock to become explosive.