After achieving a record-setting of 18 successful launches last year, SpaceX kicked-off 2018 by launching its secret mission Zuma. The space exploration company is headed by the co-founder and CEO of Tesla, Inc., Elon Musk. The spacecraft is carrying a special payload which was commissioned by the U.S. Government for a top-secret mission in Space Launch Complex 40 located at Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S. The mission was originally scheduled to launch last year late November but was delayed for fairing (top portion of the rocket that contains the payload) testing and extreme weather.
Last week, SpaceX declared that both the rocket and the payload were ready for launch. Without knowing its intended mission, purpose, and even the design of the rocket itself because it’s all classified and built for the U.S government, the payload was able to be delivered to low Earth orbit. SpaceX executed its signature move which is to guide the first-stage rocket booster to return to Earth for a safe landing. Around 2 minutes after the liftoff, the first-stage booster separated from the second stage and fired up its engines to maneuver its way back to Landing Zone 1, a SpaceX facility at Cape Canaveral. The second stage continued to reach its destination in low Earth orbit (no exact destination).