SpaceX targets January 5 launch for mystery Zuma payload

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SpaceX shows off its Falcon Heavy rocket vertical on the launchpad

SpaceX is launching Zuma, a mystery spacecraft operated by the U.S. Government for purposes unknown, thanks to it being very classified. The launch was supposed to take place last year, with a November date for the flight, but it was scrubbed, reset and then scrubbed again with no firm timeline for a follow-up attempt.

Zuma is now set to take off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral tentatively on January 5, per SpaceX, from its Pad 40 launch facility. SpaceX ran a test of propellant loading on the Falcon 9 rocket that will be taking Zuma to its target orbit (about which we know again, next to nothing besides that it’ll be somewhere in low Earth orbit). That should mean things are good to go for the launch window coming up this Friday.

Cape Canaveral is a bustling hotspot of SpaceX activity at the moment – the Falcon Heavy rocket it’s going to launch for the first time in the coming weeks is set up at its nearby launch facility, ready for testing and preflight preparations.