SpaceX will be launching a Falcon 9 with a special payload aboard today, with a two-hour long launch window opening up at 8 PM EST (5 PM PST) today. The launch will take place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and SpaceX will also attempt recovery of the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket at its LZ-1 landing pad at Cape Canaveral. But the most interesting part of the mission might be the payload itself – dubbed “Zuma,” we know almost nothing else about the mysterious spacecraft.
SpaceX’s official mission overview for this one basically doesn’t even mention the Zuma, except to note that that’s what they’re sending up into space. Its existence was basically only revealed in general because it was found in regulatory findings, and we also know that defense contractor Northrop Grumman brokered the launch with SpaceX on behalf oF the U.S. Government.
The payload is “restricted,” her an official statement by Northrop Grumman, and it’ll be launched into Low Earth Orbit, but that’s all we know. It’s likely SpaceX’s live video feed above could cut away during the actual payload separation phase given the sensitivity, but we’ll still get to see live footage of the launch and the landing attempt for the Falcon 9 first stage, at least.
SpaceX should begin its broadcast around 15 minutes prior to the opening of its launch window, so check back here to watch.