SpaceX's Zuma mission may finally be ready to zoom into space

An artist’s representation of Falcon Heavy a 230-foot-tall rocket which is capable of carrying a payload of more than 54 tons

Falcon 9 rocket will return to Landing Zone 1 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The Falcon 9 rocket will carry Zuma, a US government spacecraft, into low-Earth orbit.

SpaceX's first launch of 2018 was the classified Zuma mission, which lifted off earlier tonight at 8:00 p.m. EST.

SpaceX and the Pentagon did not respond to requests for comment about the nature of the mission. (SpaceX has had 17 consecutive successful landings, so they're getting pretty good at this).

"Northrop Grumman is proud to be a part of the Zuma launch".

Aerospace and defense company Northrop Grumman was responsible for securing SpaceX's launch services for the Zuma mission.

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After launch, SpaceX returned the tall portion of the Falcon 9 rocket to an upright landing at Cape Canaveral.

The spokesperson also said that Zuma is heading to low-Earth orbit.

SpaceX now can look forward to its next major test for the year - launching its huge heavy-duty rocket for the first time ever. That office has not claimed this payload.

The payload will be delivered to low Earth orbit, per the mission parameters, but we don't know anything else about its objective, design, or intended mission, because it's all classified.

According to industry publication Spaceflight Now, the PAN and CLIO missions were unclaimed at launch, but it was revealed later that PAN was used to listen in on communications above the Middle East by the National Security Agency.

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