Regulatory Filings Suggest Elon Musk Is Planning a Secret Rocket Launch In Mid-November.
According to Spaceflight Now, federal regulatory filings suggest SpaceX will launch a mysterious payload on a Falcon 9 rocket mid-November. Mainstream media remains silent on the event considering the payload is top secret. Filings indicate the payload has no public claim of ownership– from any government or private corporation.
With-in the regulatory filing, the Federal Communications Commission says the flight will use a Falcon 9 booster launched from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Further into the article, SpaceX is said to be submitting more filings to the FCC on the use of “telemetry transmitters and receivers to track the Falcon 9 rocket in flight”, and two other filings detailing launch plans. Here is what they had to say…
SpaceX must apply for special authority from the FCC to authorize the company to use telemetry transmitters and receivers to track the Falcon 9 rocket in flight.
Since the payload is a mystery. Here is an infographic of the Falcon 9 capabilities. In terms of weight, the rocket can lift about 10 Tesla Model Xs into a low earth orbit (LEO).
Further into the filing, the launch could occur as soon as November 10, 2017. The identity and purpose of the payload codenamed ‘Zuma’ remains a mystery. Over the years, U.S. government agencies have been the top player in launching secret spy satellites into low earth orbit.
The article states, Cape Canaveral has been the chosen site to launch secret spy satellites. Most recently in May, a Falcon 9 rocket launched a “secretive payload 250 miles above earth for the government’s spy satellite operator”.
Earth-imaging satellites that fly in lower orbits normally launch into polar orbits providing more global coverage.
Such payloads flying on Falcon 9 rockets usually take off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, but launch trajectories to the northeast from Cape Canaveral have been used for some NRO satellites in high-inclination low Earth orbits, most recently in May when a Falcon 9 rocket launched from Florida placed a secretive payload 250 miles above Earth for the government’s spy satellite operator.
In the meantime, the real test for SpaceX is for a successful launch of Koreasat 5A communications satellite on October 30. The satellite is designed for “direct-to-home television broadcasts and maritime relay services in Asia”.
Last September, SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket managed to destroy Facebook’s $200 million satellite on launch. Over the years, Elon Musk via Space X has had a long list of failures:
Interesting enough, Elon Musk’s list of failures goes unnoticed with the mainstream media. Back in 2015, SpaceX Falcon 9 catastrophic error cost taxpayers $112 million.
Despite a checkered history of launch failures, SpaceX seems to be doing fine in 2017. The launch manifest states–13 successful missions.
US launch calendar through mid-November. Space X will conduct a launch on October 30 and November 10.
As SpaceX gears up for a busy autumn, the next test for the Falcon 9 will come on October 30. Then shortly after, the mysterious payload dubbed ‘Zuma’ will launch on November 10 with the expectation of another spy satellite catapulting into low earth orbit.
The question we ask: can Elon Musk complete all space missions in 2017 without blowing up a Falcon 9?