Even as a SpaceX prepares for a weekend government launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the company's powerful Falcon Heavy is vertical on a historic NASA launchpad for a demonstration flight later this month.
Roughly eight minutes after taking off, stage one of the Falcon 9 touched down at Landing Zone 1.
This is an emerging story which needs expansion if you wish to EDIT to add information or discuss it in TALK. The sources would not confirm what exactly the payload was, saying it was classified. The details about the nature of spacecraft were not disclosed making it a secret mission.
SpaceX routinely competes with United Launch Alliance LLC, a joint venture space launch program headed by Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Boeing Defense, Space & Security, for military launches.
Falcon 9 landing after Zuma launch
SpaceX on Sunday blasted off a secretive US government payload known as Zuma, a mission whose nature - and the agency behind it - remains a mystery.
Eric Berger of Ars Technica stated that the payload fell back to earth along with the nose cone. One representative from SpaceX informed that the rocket has done the job a per the planning.
When it comes to NASA spacecraft launches, transparency is key, with nearly all aspects of a mission made available to the public.
On its website, SpaceX says it has more than 70 upcoming missions on its launch manifest that represent more than $10 billion in contracts. The company has also lent its expertise to making other sensitive craft as well, including the X-37B spaceplane developed for the U.S. Air Force. However, till the final report, the mission status was unknown.
SpaceX insists it did everything right during a highly classified government satellite launch that went awry.
IBD'S TAKE: A new Space Age is dawning as billionaires like Elon Musk and Amazon's Jeff Bezos look to explore deeper into the final frontier and make space exploration and commercial development more affordable.