SpaceX launches secret government payload, brings rocket back home

SpaceX launches secret government payload, brings rocket back home

This launch has been delayed previously, in part due to weather, but the launch window opened again this evening at 5 p.m.

This will be SpaceX's first launch of 2018.

Originally scheduled to launch in November, problems with the rocket caused officials to delay plans by several weeks.

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The mission, code named "Zuma", is a Falcon-9 rocket launch, but it is unclear what the rocket is carrying.

It will be carrying a secret payload for the US government, code-named Zuma.

The company's live webcast did not show video coverage of the Zuma spacecraft after it separated from the first stage of the rocket, but confirmed that the fairings deployed and the payload was well on its way to low-Earth orbit.

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SpaceX launched Zuma from its SLC-40 launch facility at Cape Canaveral in Florida, which was used instead of its other launch facility at Cape Canaveral because that was being employed for preparations for the launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket. But Sunday's launch is perhaps the company's most secretive yet.

SpaceX has launched national security payloads in the past, including a spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office, and an X-37B space plane for the US Air Force.

SpaceX just sent a secret government mission to space.

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About 8 minutes later, the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket came in for a attractive night landing at a launch pad back at the Cape. The Zuma payload was built by Northrop Grumman for the US government, but additional information about the satellite is not available.

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