Replay of SpaceX's first launch and landing of 2018

Aaron Brown
January 9, 2018

SpaceX successfully launched a secret USA government payload called Zuma on Sunday and landed its rocket back on Earth, in the company's first mission of 2018. The launch window opens at 8 p.m. After delivering Zuma to space, the rocket will return to earth to land back at Cape Canaveral. The first launch this year carried a special payload - Zuma, a secretive spacecraft commissioned by the US government for an undisclosed mission. Such landings are vital to the company as they are being performed to improve the development of its reusable rockets.

Last night's launch is SpaceX's first of the year and its 20th first stage landing to date.

It's also the third time the aerospace firm has carried out a classified mission, which is arguably its most secretive flight for the U.S. government, Ars Technica reports. Just over two minutes later, the first stage separated and began its pre-landing braking burn while the second stage accelerated towards orbit. Since November 2017, all that is known about the mission is it involves a spacecraft supposedly commissioned by an agency under the USA government.

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The Falcon heavy, capable of carrying a payload of more than 54 tons, will set off from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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