SpaceX delays launch of mysterious Zuma spacecraft

By Brooks Hays and Danielle Haynes  |  Updated Nov. 16, 2017 at 7:12 PM
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Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Less than two hours before scheduled liftoff, SpaceX canceled plans to launch its Falcon 9 rocket Thursday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The rocket was scheduled to blast off at 8 p.m., but around 6:30 p.m., the company made the call to delay.

"Standing down on Zuma mission to take a closer look at data from recent fairing testing for another customer," the company said.

The Falcon 9 rocket was expected to carry the company's Zuma spacecraft into low-Earth orbit. Aside from its name, little is known about the payload. SpaceX's press kit offers no details about the mysterious satellite.

"Everybody involved with the mission is pretty tight-lipped about it," Space.com reported.

SpaceX didn't announce when it would reschedule the launch, but left Friday open as an option.

"Though we've preserved the range opportunity for tomorrow, we'll take the time needed to complete the data review and then confirm a new launch date," the company said.

SpaceX 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.

Zuma also is a government mission, but aerospace and defense company Northrop Grumman was responsible for securing SpaceX's launch services.

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