Published: Fri, January 05, 2018
Science | By Eileen Rhodes

Thanks to SpaceX, The US Dominated Rocket Launches in 2017

Thanks to SpaceX, The US Dominated Rocket Launches in 2017

In addition, USA also suffered no launch failures over the past 12 months, whereas its primary competitors, China, Russia and India, all suffered significant costly accidents leading to the loss of their rocket payloads.

The Falcon Heavy has been in development for the last several years.

After the Zuma payload is delivered and released, the rocket's first stage will attempt to land in Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral. SpaceX later released photos of the auto being encapsulated in the rocket's payload fairing.

Meanwhile at Kennedy Space Center, SpaceX is moving along with preparations for the maiden flight of the Falcon Heavy rocket.

Once Zuma is on its way to orbit, part of the reusable rocket will fly back down to Earth, landing on a pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida around 10 minutes later. The first big launch of the year looks to be one shrouded in mystery - the Zuma launch. Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn't blow up on ascent.

The mission marks SpaceX's most ambitious project to date.

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However, in an email to Aviation Week, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell revealed the delay - which now appears to have been overruled by Musk.

It will be returned to the launch pad within next week before the fire test, and then the engines will be ignited.

Given that this mission comes off successful, the company has two more launches of the rocket planned to be executed within this year. Inside that cone-shaped faring rests Elon Musk's personal Tesla Roadster.

"I hope it makes it far enough away from the pad that it does not cause pad damage".

Quite frankly, the intense aerodynamic forces present at the point of side booster separation mean that it is entirely possible that they may not survive, and could even be drawn back in to impact the center core, an eventuality that would likely bring the mission to a premature end.

Before a May 1 launch of a National Reconnaissance Office satellite, government satellites were nearly exclusively sent into space aboard rockets built by United Launch Alliance, a Boeing-

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