Technology SpaceX Delays Mysterious Zuma Spacecraft Launch to Sunday

23:29  06 january  2018
23:29  06 january  2018 Source:   Space.com

A Triumphant Year for SpaceX

  A Triumphant Year for SpaceX The year 2017 has turned out to be a good one for rocket science in the United States. American companies made 29 successful rocket launches into orbit, the highest figure since 1999, which saw 31 launches, according to a comprehensive database maintained by Gunter Krebs, a spaceflight historian in Germany. The final launch of the year, by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a cache of commercial communications satellites, took place Friday night at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.SpaceX, Elon Musk’s private spaceflight company, is responsible for most of this year’s launches.

The mysterious Zuma payload sits atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A. Liftoff is currently scheduled for Nov. 17, 2017.

SpaceX has pushed back the launch of the mysterious Zuma spacecraft for the U.S. government to no earlier than Sunday (Jan. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the secretive Zuma spacecraft is seen atop Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in November 2017.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the secretive Zuma spacecraft is seen at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in November 2017. The mission will now launch on Jan. 7, 2018. © SpaceX A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the secretive Zuma spacecraft is seen at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in November 2017. The mission will now launch on Jan. 7, 2018.

SpaceX has pushed back the launch of the mysterious Zuma spacecraftfor the U.S. government to no earlier than Sunday (Jan. 7).

A Falcon 9 rocket will launch the secret Zuma mission from SpaceX's pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window opens Sunday at 8 p.m. EST (0100 GMT).

SpaceX announced the new flight target for Zuma late Thursday (Jan. 4), one day after saying that the mission, which was initially set for a Jan. 4 liftoff, was near ready to launch on Friday (Jan. 5). SpaceX representatives said additional fueling tests on the Falcon 9 were performed Wednesday and Thursday. [SpaceX's Secret Zuma Launch: Here's What We Know]

SpaceX shows off its Falcon Heavy rocket vertical on the launchpad

  SpaceX shows off its Falcon Heavy rocket vertical on the launchpad SpaceX is getting ready for its first ever test flight of the Falcon Heavy, it's heavy-duty rocket aimed at propelling large cargo loads into low Earth orbit. The rocket uses three Falcon 9 boosters combined for maximum load capacity when leaving Earth'sSpaceX is getting ready for its first ever test flight of the Falcon Heavy, it's heavy-duty rocket aimed at propelling large cargo loads into low Earth orbit. The rocket uses three Falcon 9 boosters combined for maximum load capacity when leaving Earth's atmosphere, and it's looking to do its first test launch within the next few weeks from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

SpaceX is launching its third clandestine spacecraft for the US government in a mission called " Zuma ." The launch has been delayed multiple times, and is tentatively scheduled for Friday around 8 p.m. ET.

The Falcon 9 rocket was expected to carry the company’s Zuma spacecraft into low-Earth orbit. SpaceX ’s press kit offers no details about the mysterious satellite. New space station crew members are en route after Sunday blastoff.

"Team at the Cape completed additional propellant loading tests today," SpaceX representatives wrote on Twitter Thursday. "Extreme weather slowed operations but Falcon 9 and the Zuma spacecraft are healthy and go for launch—now targeting January 7 from Pad 40 in Florida."

The "extreme weather" cited may refer to the unseasonably cold weather that hit Florida during the "bomb cyclone" winter storm that pummeled the U.S. East Coast this week.

The Zuma mission has been delayed since last November, when SpaceX stood down to review data from payload-fairing tests on a separate Falcon 9 rocket for a different launch customer. The payload fairing is the protective nose cone atop a rocket that shrouds a payload during the launch into space.

SpaceX successfully launches top-secret Zuma spacecraft

  SpaceX successfully launches top-secret Zuma spacecraft SpaceX has successfully launched its first mission of 2018, after capping a record year last year in 2017 with 18 total launches. 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.

16 (UPI) -- Less than two hours before scheduled liftoff, SpaceX canceled plans to launch its Falcon 9 rocket Thursday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Falcon 9 rocket was expected to carry the company's Zuma spacecraft into low-Earth orbit.

SpaceX has delayed the launch of its Zuma spacecraft for a third time. The company was due to launch the mystery payload into space on Wednesday, however it was forced to reschedule for the following day because it wanted to carry out additional “assurance work.”

SpaceX has not disclosed the nature of the Zuma spacecraft, only that it is being launched for the U.S. government under a deal arranged by the aerospace and defense company Northrop Grumman. Northrop Grumman representatives have confirmed that Zuma will launch into a low-Earth orbit, rather than a higher, geosynchronous orbit. SpaceX representatives have also said that the Falcon 9 rocket will land its first stage back on Earth after the mission. That landing will touch down at SpaceX's Landing Zone 1 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Zuma will mark SpaceX's third classified launch for the U.S. government. The company launched a secret spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office in May 2017, and then launched the U.S. Air Force's robotic X-37B space plane on a secret mission in September.

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original story onSpace.com .

Editor's Recommendations

  • 6 Fun Facts About Private Rocket Company SpaceX
  • Gallery: Declassified US Spy Satellite Photos & Designs
  • The US Military's Secretive X-37B Space Plane: 6 Surprising Facts

SpaceX Dragon Capsule Returns to Earth After Space Station Delivery .
A SpaceX Dragon cargo ship left the International Space Station and returned to Earth Saturday (Jan. 13), wrapping up a nearly month-long delivery mission for NASA that also marked the spacecraft's second trip to space.The uncrewed Dragon supply ship detached from the space station's robotic arm at 4:58 a.m. EST (0958 GMT) and began firing thrusters for its return to Earth. The space capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California to be retrieved by SpaceX, the company announced at 10:39 a.m. EST (1539 GMT).

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!