SpaceX is looking ahead to its test launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket after a successful launch of a top-secret government payload Sunday night. The idea is to leave no clues about the payloads' final destination.
SpaceX competes for military launches with United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin, which was the sole provider for the Pentagon until Mr Musk began a campaign in Congress and the courts challenging what he called an unfair monopoly. Both Falcon 9 and the payload remain healthy; teams will use the extra day to conduct some additional mission assurance work in advance of 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", Rains said, declining to comment on the nature of the payload. SpaceX has also declined to give details about the spacecraft. At that time, the launch director confirmed that the propellant loading had begun.
This was SpaceX's first launch of 2018.
Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO has been planning to obtain a perfect technique to enable the reusability of rockets similar to airplanes which will significantly bring down the overall cost required for space-based missions. The rocket's second stage propels the satellite into orbit.
The return of the Falcon 9 rocket is part of the company's efforts to reuse costly space equipment.
The Falcon Heavy will be the most powerful rocket since the Saturn V, which took us to the moon.
Once the engine powering the rocket's expendable second stage stops firing, whatever it is carrying is supposed to separate and proceed on its own trajectory. The ship will enter another city and then re-enter the atmosphere. Weather is currently 80% favorable for the mysterious mission, boding well for a launch sometime within the two hour window allotted to the satellite.
The satellite was provided by defense contractor Northrop Grumman, which wouldn't name the government agency for which it was provided.
SpaceX has previously launched a pair of national security-related missions, a spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office and the robotic X-37B space plane for the U.S. Air Force. The implication, he claims, is that "it completed at least one orbit".
Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations.
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