SpaceX Will Launch Mysterious Project Zuma On Thursday

SpaceX has come a long way since one of its rockets exploded on the launch bad in September 2016 (though the company has assembled a humorous bloopers reel to show that it has a sense of humor about its humble beginnings).

And on Thursday, it will launch a rocket from Cape Canaveral Florida that will carry a satellite into space for the US government. Though the project is top secret, and it’s unclear which government agency commissioned it, or if the satellite is for military or reconnaissance purposes.

 

SpaceX

Indeed, the only thing the public knows about this project is its codename: Project Zuma. And after an initial delay, the launch is finally here, according to Sky News.

SpaceX is preparing to send into space a satellite for the US government that is so secret the public cannot know even which branch of the administration commissioned the launch.

A weather report ahead of the launch released on Tuesday described the conditions as excellent.

Unlike the private aerospace company's previous classified launches for the military's National Reconnaissance Office and the super-secret space-plane it took into orbit for the Air Force, there is almost no information available about the "Zuma" payload.

Zuma is known to be a low Earth orbit satellite (orbiting within 2,000km) which is an orbit necessary both for spy and military communication satellites.

The secrecy surrounding the launch and the involvement of defense contractor Northrup Grumman in building and operating the spacecraft has led many to speculate that it is defense-related. The National Reconnaissance Office has denied that Zuma belongs to them. The launch window opens at 8pm local time on Thursday at Cape Canaveral in Florida.

According to Northrup Grumma communications director Lon Raid: "This event represents a cost-effective approach to space access for government missions.”

"As a company, Northrop Grumman realises that this is a monumental responsibility and has taken great care to ensure the most affordable and lowest risk scenarios for Zuma."

The launch had been pushed back despite a US Government desire to launch Zuma before November of last year.

Comments

shitshitshit Wed, 01/03/2018 - 00:10 Permalink

Nothing of substance here.

At least the weather forecasting articles have this doom porn element to entertain us.

If only this Zuma flying circus would be a cargo of dildos for the south African needful dindus...

greenskeeper carl MasterControl Wed, 01/03/2018 - 01:22 Permalink

I'll bash tesla and it's subsidies all day, but space-x actually does save the government money. We could argue that you don't want the government launching a bunch of shit into space that may well be used to spy on us, and I'd probably agree. But the govt was getting taken for a ride by the ULA and their Atlas-V. Until space-x came along, they were pretty much the sole source of supply for getting things into space, and charged us accordingly. Plus, they have to import the atlas-v engines from Russia. I'm no Russophobe, but I don't like to see us dependent on other countries for that sort of thing. Since the US government IS going to launch shit like this into space, I'd rather them use space-x, since it costs us tax serfs less than half what the ULA charged.

In reply to by MasterControl

cyberfossil greenskeeper carl Wed, 01/03/2018 - 04:14 Permalink

You got the part right about "launching shit"  at lower cost than NASA's so we waste money slower but if it's from Elon, you better still carry a very big shovel!  And what is with his constant stuff about AI computers taking over the world?  It's like the old Star Trek episode predictive programming foretold Musk . . .  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XN_a0qZlK4s

In reply to by greenskeeper carl

VWAndy Wed, 01/03/2018 - 00:15 Permalink

 Cost effective? We are talking about the US government an Elon Musk?

  Im thinking it blows up. Then they can get paid twice.

justa minute Conscious Reviver Wed, 01/03/2018 - 04:58 Permalink

globism is sun worship so go ahead and worship, they are laughing at you for believing such a ridiculous notion, it has never been proven and anyone who has tried just proved the world is flat Morley/Michelson, Airies look them up i dare you, or you can laugh at me and you can keep walking around in a world that only exists in someones imagination devoid of reality and out of your mind

In reply to by Conscious Reviver

Anarchyteez Wed, 01/03/2018 - 00:26 Permalink

According to Northrup Grumma communications director Lon Raid: "This event represents a cost-effective approach to space access for government missions.”

 

What in the fuck has nasa been doing for x decades??? Playing checkers?