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SpaceX launches Zuma mission for US government

Defense contractor declines to comment on the payload.

Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies successfully launched its first mission of the new year: a classified payload for the US government into low-earth orbit.

The mission – referred to as code name Zuma – took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on a Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX landed the rocket’s first stage for reuse in a future launch, a key step in its goal to drive down the cost of access to space.

Defense contractor Northrop Grumman was assigned to choose which company would launch the restricted payload and it selected SpaceX’s Falcon 9, calling it a cost-effective option in an emailed statement before the launch. 

“As a company, Northrop Grumman realizes this is a monumental responsibility and we have taken great care to ensure the most affordable and lowest risk scenario for Zuma,” said Lon Rains, a Northrop Grumman spokesman. He declined to comment on the nature of the payload.

The launch is SpaceX’s first in what is expected to be a busy year. The company has said it plans to launch roughly 30 missions in 2018 after completing a record 18 last year. The launch had been pushed back several times since late 2017, with the past week’s extreme weather on the East Coast contributing to the most recent delay.

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Can you accommodate the real zuma as excess baggage?

With a heading like that, it’s only going to be time before the jokes (from an SA perspective) start flying in *lol*

(pres) Zuma is genuinely the actual payload: The Americans needed a new super-weapon, and they realised that only ‘a Zuma’ can destroy any country single handedly! 😉

JZ is proud that an innovative space development program associated with his name to honor the good financial upliftment work he has done ….. for himself and his gang members.

Space-X Mission Control to rocket-capsule:
“Why haven’t you launched yet? The final countdown sequence to zero has now passed!

Rocket-capsule responds:
“A minor delay: Astronaut Zuma is still busy counting down our own launch-sequence over here…”

LOL – I do hope that Nkandla’s anti ballistic missile system is operational – They might just be coming for him.

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