SpaceX is targeting November for the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center on a mysterious mission codenamed "Zuma" for Northrop Grumman, according to federal filings and company statements.
SpaceX confirmed on Tuesday that pad 39A will play host to the secretive mission "no earlier than November," though the Air Force's 45th Space Wing said teams are targeting Nov. 15 for the launch.
The mission will include a first stage landing attempt at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Landing Zone 1, according to documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission seeking special temporary authority for "SpaceX Mission 1390." As usual, the Space Coast can expect the powerful reverberation of a sonic boom across the region as the booster descends shortly after liftoff.
Northrop Grumman confirmed to FLORIDA TODAY that it selected Falcon 9 for Zuma, which was described as a "government mission."
“The U.S. government assigned Northrop Grumman the responsibility of acquiring launch services for this mission," said Lon Rains, communications director at Northrop Grumman's Space Systems Division and Space Park Design Center of Excellence. "We have procured the Falcon 9 launch service from SpaceX."
"This event represents a cost-effective approach to space access for government missions," he said. (end of excerpt)
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