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SpaceX dazzles with first launch of the year

SpaceX dazzles with first launch of the year

It's SpaceX's third classified launch for the US government, this one taking place under a deal with defense contractor Northrop Grumman.

SpaceX plans to land the Falcon 9's first stage booster back at Cape Canaveral Landing Zone 1.

Neither SpaceX nor the USA military have disclosed the goal of the Zuma craft, but the news site says the satellite was created by aerospace firm Northrop Grumman. SpaceX has launched a secret satellite codenamed Zuma on its first flight of the new year. SpaceX has also flown other sensitive cargo for the USA, including the Air Force's X-37B spaceplane. Boeing eased 0.4%, and Lockheed Martin (LMT), whose United Launch Alliance joint venture with Boeing provides launch services for the Pentagon, dipped 0.3%.

The company, founded by the Tesla chief, launched the mysterious Zuma satellite aboard one of its Falcon 9 rockets last night from the Cape Canaveral spaceport in Florida, reports Alphr. The rocket's first stage has also landed 12 times on droneships in the ocean as SpaceX pushed to lower launch costs with reusable rockets.

SpaceX is now looking towards its next challenge, launching the Falcon Heavy, its largest rocket to date. It's aiming for more this year, including the debut of the Falcon Heavy - a triple-core version of the Falcon 9 that will have all 27 engines firing at launch.


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