WATCH LIVE: SpaceX to launch secret Zuma mission
Falcon 9 to blast off from Space Coast
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The first Space Coast launch of the year, a classified mission, is set to take place Sunday, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.
The mission, only known as Zuma, was set for Thursday, pushed back to Friday and then again into the weekend. SpaceX officials said Thursday evening that the launch is targeted for Sunday with the two-hour launch window opening at 8 p.m.
[WATCH ROCKET LAUNCH LIVE AT BOTTOM OF STORY]
SpaceX tried multiple times at the end of 2017 to launch Zuma, but weather and issues with the Falcon 9 rocket nose cone created delays moving the targeted launch date into 2018.
A reason for the most recent delay was not given, reports Florida Today.
Zuma is a U.S. government payload delivered by Northrop Gruman, but its purpose is classified.
Sunday temperatures will start out in the low 50s near the Cape Canaveral Air Force pad, with colder temperatures further inland. Those numbers are much warmer than the 30 degrees temperatures forecasted for the Friday launch window by U.S. Air Force weather officials earlier in the week.
Saturday's launch forecast showed weather conditions holding at 80 percent "go" for Sunday's launch.
SpaceX plans to land the Falcon 9’s first stage booster back at Cape Canaveral Landing Zone 1. Residents can expect to hear a sonic boom about eight minutes after launch.
SpaceX is kicking off the New Year with a long list of launches on its manifest. Zuma will be the first before the company premiers its new Falcon Heavy rocket, sometime later in January.
Falcon Heavy was vertical on the Kennedy Space Center launch pad 39A last week for the first time.
What you need to know:
What: SpaceX Falcon 9 launch
Payload: Mission known as Zuma, handled by Northrop Gruman for U.S. government
Pad: Cape Canaveral Air Force Space Launch Complex 40, find out where to watch the launch here
When: Sunday, between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Weather: 80 percent "go" as of Saturday
Landing: Ground landing at Cape Canaveral Landing Zone 1
Sonic boom expected: Yes
Florida Today's Emre Kelly contributed to this report.
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