Published: Mon, January 08, 2018
Science | By Dan Gutierrez

Don't miss SpaceX rocket launch this weekend

Don't miss SpaceX rocket launch this weekend

The first launch this year carried a special payload - Zuma, a secretive spacecraft commissioned by the USA government for an undisclosed mission.

SpaceX officials said Thursday evening that the launch is targeted for Sunday with the two-hour launch window opening at 8 p.m.

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

SpaceX will attempt to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station tonight.

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

"Everybody involved with the mission is pretty tight-lipped about it", Space.com reported past year.

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These landings are part of SpaceX's effort to develop fully reusable rockets and spacecraft - technology that company founder and CEO Elon Musk has said will slash the cost of spaceflight.

It carries the Zuma spacecraft, which has had repeated launch delays since November.

The first Space Coast launch of the year, a classified mission, is set to take place Sunday, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.

The Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture is targeting a 4 p.m. EST Wednesday launch from California of a classified NRO mission on a Delta IV rocket, followed by a January 18 launch of an Atlas V carrying a USA missile warning satellite from Cape Canaveral.

Success on Sunday will clear the way for SpaceX's next launch from Florida, the much anticipated test flight of the Falcon Heavy booster.

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