SpaceX launches rocket on secret government mission

SpaceX on Sunday night successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket into orbit carrying a secret government payload, in its first mission of 2018. The classified mission, known as Zuma, includes a satellite built by Northrop Grumman, but few other details have been released. The launch was originally planned for late November, but it faced nagging delays. SpaceX managed to land the rocket seven minutes after launch. The company is trying to cut costs and turnaround times for space missions by reusing its first-stage rockets. It now has made 21 successful landings, nine of them in a Cape Canaveral landing zone and 12 on “autonomous spaceport droneships” in the ocean.

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