November 16, 2017
SpaceX admittedly got off to a rocky start. With a couple of spectacular launch fails and more rebuilds than even Elon Musk can count, the self-landing rocket company has seen its fair share of ups and downs. However, as time goes on, SpaceX has proven itself to be one of the frontrunners for the space exploration revolution. And today, they’re launching a mysterious payload for the US Government.
Dubbed Zuma, this incredibly secret payload will be launched via a Falcon 9 rocket the night of Thursday, November 16th at 5pm PST from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. All we know of the mysterious payload is that it’s a classified government satellite built by Northrop Grumman, a well-known defense contractor. Seriously, that’s all we know.
“Northrop Grumman realizes that this is monumental responsibility and have taken great care to ensure the most affordable and lowest risk scenario for Zuma,” said Lon Rains, communications director for Northrop Grumman’s Space Systems Division, to The Verge.
What we don’t know about the secretive payload is much more significant than what we do know. While SpaceX has launched a number of mysterious payloads such as this, we’ve always known where they’re coming from, be it the US Air Force or the National Reconnaissance Office. However, Zuma has yet to have any agency, government or otherwise, claim the payload in any public way.
If you’re interested in watching this secret payload take to the skies, check out the live broadcast tonight at 5pm PST.
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