January 20, 2018

SpaceX To Launch Secret Zuma Satellite For US Government?

05 January 2018, 01:10 | Ross Houston

SpaceX pushes rocket launch back to Sunday A Falcon 9 rocket on the pad

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Zuma satellite sit on Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center hours before a scheduled launch Wednesday Nov. 15 2017. SpaceX postponed the launch a day to buy them more prep time

SpaceX late on Tuesday tweeted several photos and videos showing the Falcon Heavy rocket sitting on the launchpad vertically, awaiting its ascent. Its huge capacity is the largest since the Apollo lunar program's Saturn V rocket.

SpaceX's mighty Falcon Heavy rocket - which could one day take humans to the moon or Mars - sits at Cape Canaveral, ready for its test launch later this month. Back in 2014, SpaceX has already leased the facility of the next 20 years.

SpaceX efforts to continue to refine its systems could help it land more government deals, which would mean more launches this year than last, said DiBello, who estimates that Central Florida could host as many as 40 launches this year. Before the final liftoff, SpaceX plans to do a static fire test where the rocket is tethered to the ground while the engines are ignited.

You can also see the structural components holding the trio of boosters together in the new video.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers the closest public viewing of launches with the purchase of a launch viewing/transportation ticket.

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Failed missile test hits North Korean town
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Risks aside, if all goes well, the side cores will separate and return to the land-based Landing Zone-1 (LZ-1) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and will likely land simultaneously and offer nearby Floridans a double dose of sonic booms as they slow down from speeds well above Mach 3.

Atop the center booster is the second stage with its single Merlin Vacuum engine. Since there's a chance the first launch will end catastrophically, SpaceX didn't want to use anything important as the payload.

"The NRO made up its mind that SpaceX was OK to launch payloads", he said.

Musk has been a little vague about the rocket's destination, perhaps intentionally. Instead, it will carry an original Tesla Roadster into an elliptic Mars orbit.

Elon Musk's personal Tesla will fly along on the Falcon Heavy's first test flight. This orbit will cross the orbit of Mars, so the vehicle will get close to the red planet without remaining in orbit.

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