It’s time for the mysterious Zuma Spacecraft, the top-secret satellite of the US government.
Zuma is scheduled to be launched by SpaceX between 8 pm and 10 pm EDT this Friday (01:00 GMT January 5 – 03:00 GMT January 6). Air Force officials have confirmed that SpaceX is going to use a Falcon 9 rocket to launch ZUMA from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. It will lift off from the historic Pad 39A of KSC, which once hosted the launch of the Apollo on the moon mission launch. SpaceX has this launch complex signed on the 20-year lease from 2014.
The mysterious Zuma spacecraft liftoff, originally scheduled for mid-November was pushed back by SpaceX. They thought it would be a better option to study the data received from a recent payload-fairing test performed for another customer. The nose cone that protects the spacecraft throughout the liftoff is called the Payload Fairing.
No specific details about ZUMA’s mission are revealed. All that is known is that ZUMA will be circling the earth in a Low-Earth orbit.
The first stage of the two-stage Falcon 9 will be attempted to be landed in the Landing Zone 1 of the SpaceX facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It is close to the KSC.
As of now, SpaceX has successfully landed the first stage of the Falcon 9 boosters 20 times. They have been successfully reused for 5 times. SpaceX has been pushing this procedure of developing fully reusable rockets and spacecraft quite sometime now. The founder and CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk has always emphasized on slashing the cost of spaceflight by reusing them.