Elon Musk’s Space X has cut the live feed of its Falcon 9 rocket launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida as part of the secretive Zuma mission.
The spacecraft was blasted toan ‘undisclosed location’ at 8pm on Sunday, weeks after it was initially scheduled to occur in November,CNN reports.
Photos and video show the launch – a secret satellite codenamed Zuma – lighting up the Florida sky but the exact position of its orbit was kept a secret.
The ship launched in an orbit less than 1,200 miles from Earth and within two minutes disengaged its rocket booster, which then traveled back to and landed right at the Air Force Station.
Much of the trip was kept secret and it was not revealed where the ship traveled to in the atmosphere.
The launch was broadcast on SpaceX’s website but the entire mission was not live-streamed.
What the ship is made out of, among other questions, has not been revealed to the public.
Previous reasons given for the delay in its launch were further testing being necessary and weather-related conditions.
Musk, meanwhile announced on January 4 that SpaceX will launch ‘the world’s most powerful rocket’ later this month with his own electric car on board.
The Falcon Heavy ‘megarocket’ will fire beyond orbit from the former Apollo 11 moon rocket launchpad at the Kennedy Space Centre near Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Musk said the launch vehicle will blast off at the ‘end of the month’ on an unmanned mission with a unique payload – the billionaire’s cherry red 2008 Tesla Roadster, which will be fired toward Mars.
The rocket will use 27 engines and three separate re-usable cores that will return to Earth after liftoff during the test flight, which is set to be one of the firm’s most technically complex challenges to date.
Before the maiden launch, a full test firing of the rocket’s engines is expected, Musk said.
‘Falcon Heavy now vertical on the former Apollo 11 moon rocket launchpad,’ he wrote on Instagram on Thursday.
‘At 2,500 tons of thrust, equal to 18 Boeing 747 aircraft at full throttle, it will be the most powerful rocket in the world by a factor of two. Excitement on launch day guaranteed, one way or another.
‘Hold-down test fire next week. Launch end of the month.’
When it lifts off for the first time in late January, the Falcon Heavy will become the most powerful rocket in the world thanks to its 5.1 million pounds of thrust generated through 27 Merlin engines.
The vast rocket, which is ultimately three Falcon 9 rockets linked together, will have the combined thrust to eventually launch 140,000 pounds (63,500kg) of cargo into orbit.
The mission marks SpaceX’s most ambitious project to date.
Musk founded SpaceX in 2002, with the aim of reducing space transportation costs and enabling the colonisation of Mars.
The 46-year-old South African is also the CEO of Tesla, and predicts Falcon Heavy’s payload will stay in deep space for a while.
A photo of the unusual cargo – Musk’s cherry red 2008 Tesla Roadster – was released last month.
Images released by SpaceX show an original Roadster perched on a large cone inside the Falcon Heavy on what appears to be a secure mount to keep it stationary as the rocket makes its maiden flight.
‘Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks. That seemed extremely boring,’ Musk said in December.
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