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How To Watch SpaceX Launch The US Government's Mysterious Zuma Spacecraft Today

08 January 2018

The two-hour launch window opens at 8pm ET.

Today, Elon Musk's SpaceX will launch "Zuma", a mysterious government spacecraft of unknown goal, on one of its partially-reusable Falcon 9 two-stage rockets from Launch Complex 40 at Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Originally scheduled to launch in November, problems with the rocket caused officials to delay plans by several weeks. The company has said it plans to launch roughly 30 missions in 2018 after completing a record 18 previous year. This makes sense given that the relatively low orbit would SpaceX to bring the Falcon 9 first stage in for a landing back on land, rather than a drone ship at sea.

The current weather forecast predicts an 80 percent chance of favorable launch conditions.

After launch, SpaceX returned the tall portion of the Falcon 9 rocket to an upright landing at Cape Canaveral.

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It will be carrying a secret payload for the USA government, code-named Zuma.

The webcast of the launch did not follow the second stage carrying the payload after it separated from the first stage. Just what that business may be is unclear; little has been revealed about the payload.

It's also SpaceX's third such launch for the U.S. government, with previous payloads including a spy satellite and the X-37B space plane.

SpaceX's first launch of 2018 was the classified Zuma mission, which lifted off earlier tonight at 8:00 p.m. EST.

How To Watch SpaceX Launch The US Government's Mysterious Zuma Spacecraft Today