Friday, November 17, 2017

Secretive SpaceX Launch Code-Named 'Zuma' Postponed Again


Update:

The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying a mystery satellite with the code-name 'Zuma' has been postponed again until SpaceX engineers can review data of a hardware issue with the fairing. No new launch date has been announced.

Previous story:

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying a mystery satellite with the code-name 'Zuma' has been rescheduled to liftoff at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, November 17, 2017, from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch window will remain open for 2 hours.

Launch Weather 90% 'GO'

According to the latest forecast from the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron, there is a 90% chance of favorable weather for the launch. The primary concerns are cumulus clouds.

Attempted Ground Landing

After first stage separation, SpaceX will attempt to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket on land at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Landing Zone 1.  Landing Zone 1 is built on the former site of Space Launch Complex 13, a Cold War-Era U.S. Air Force rocket and missile testing range last used in 1978.

Residents of the communities of Cape Canaveral, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island, Mims, Port Canaveral, Port St. John, Rockledge, Scottsmoor, Sharpes, and Titusville, Florida, are most likely to hear a sonic boom, although what Brevard County residents experience will depend on weather conditions and other factors.

Payload

There is little information about this payload other than it is a government payload contracted through Northrop Grumman. The mission was added onto SpaceX's public launch manifest less than 30 days prior to launch.