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Clandestine Zuma SpySat’s SpaceX Liftoff Postponed Indefinitely to Resolve Payload Fairing Issue

Friday, November 17, 2017 22:09
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(Before It's News)

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blastoff of clandestine Zuma spysat to low earth orbit for a classified US government customer is postponed indefinitely from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, FL, from last targeted launch date of 17 Nov 2017. Credit: Ken Kremer/Kenkremer.com

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – Liftoff of the clandestine spy satellite codenamed ‘Zuma’ on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has been postponed indefinitely to resolve a lingering issue with the testing of a payload fairing for another customer.

SpaceX announced today, Friday, Nov 17, that they will ‘stand down’ to allow engineers the additional time needed to carefully scrutinize all the pertinent data before proceeding with the top secret Zuma launch.

“We have decided to stand down and take a closer look at data from recent fairing testing for another customer,” said SpaceX spokesman John Taylor.

Originally scheduled for Wednesday evening at 8 p.m. EST Nov 15, the Zuma launch from the Florida Space Coast had already been postponed twice this week before it was called off indefinitely.

Covert Zuma spysat is encapsulated inside the nose cose at the top of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in this up-close view from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, FL, taken on Nov. 16, 2017. Launch reset to Nov. 17, 2017. Credit: Ken Kremer/Kenkremer.com

The initial 24 hour delay to Thursday was to deal with unspecified ‘mission assurance’ issues.

The second delay was pinned more specifically on the payload fairing or nose cone.

No new targeted launch date has been announced.

“Though we have preserved the range opportunity for tomorrow, we will take the time we need to complete the data review and will then confirm a new launch date,” Taylor stated.

Just exactly what the fairing problem is has not been disclosed. Its also not known if the two delays are related or not.

The range had been reserved for a Saturday launch opportunity as well.

However all mention of the launch hasd now been deleted from the website of the 45th Space Wing at Patrick Air Force Base, FL.

The first stage landing legs attached to the side of the Falcon 9 booster are seen up close as the rocket awaits blastoff with the unclaimed Zuma surveillance satellite from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, FL, set for liftoff on Nov. 17, 2017. Credit: Ken Kremer/Kenkremer.com

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of SpaceX Zuma, KoreaSat-5A & SES-11, ULA NROL-52 and NASA and space mission reports direct from the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news.

Ken Kremer

The post Clandestine Zuma SpySat’s SpaceX Liftoff Postponed Indefinitely to Resolve Payload Fairing Issue appeared first on Universe Today.



Source: https://www.universetoday.com/137904/clandestine-zuma-spysats-spacex-liftoff-postponed-indefinitely-resolve-payload-fairing-issue/

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