SpaceX Launches Secret Zuma Mission for US Government, Lands Rocket

Zuma launch

A SpaceX rocket launch is scheduled for Sunday night from Kennedy Space Center and might be visible in South Florida if Mother Nature cooperates.

Aerospace and defense company Northrop Grumman was responsible for securing SpaceX's launch services for the Zuma mission.

Skies were clear enough for viewers on the Space Coast to see the rocket's two stages separate, briefly producing a sort of laser light show in the clouds, then follow the first stage as it flew back to Landing Zone 1.

The Zuma launch was initially planned for November, but was delayed due to issues with the fairing, which houses the payload on its way to being deployed into orbit around Earth. The company has said it plans to launch roughly 30 missions in 2018 after completing a record 18 a year ago.

More news: LG Unveils A 4K HDR Projector Ahead Of CES 2018

SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk's goal is to ideal the technique so that rockets can one day become just as reusable as airplanes, thereby lowering the cost of space travel.

This will be SpaceX's first launch of 2018.

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 also has two more satellite missions that could fly in late January: a Spanish Earth observation craft launching from California, and a European communications satellite from Cape Canaveral. It's likely the feed will go live around 7:45pm ET, a few minutes prior to the launch window. The company has successfully launched "Zuma", a mysterious government payload, into orbit from Cape Canaveral.

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