Americans to send 'Zuma' to space

2017-11-16 05:34
Space-X's Falcon 9 rocket. (Matt Hartman via AP)

Space-X's Falcon 9 rocket. (Matt Hartman via AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – In a galaxy far, far away American President Donald Trump might call Kim Jong-un of North Korea Rocket Man, but the US government will be launching Zuma into space on Thursday.

While some South Africans wouldn't mind seeing Zuma blasted into space and might be disappointed that the launch has been delayed by a day, it remains a mystery what exactly the Americans want Zuma to do up there.

"The payload aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is a top-secret passenger for the US government named Zuma," reported SpaceFlight Now on Wednesday.

The arms company Northrop Grumman procured the services of South African-born Elon Musk's company SpaceX on behalf of the American government.

South Africans can rest assured that every care will be taken of Zuma as he boldly goes where no one has gone before. Northrop Grumman spokesperson Lon Rains said, as reported by Express, "As a company, Northrop Grumman realises that this is monumental responsibility and have taken great care to ensure the most affordable and lowest risk scenario for Zuma."

Rains told several online publications that "the Zuma payload is a restricted payload". This means no further information will be made available about the mission's purpose.

The website Mashable reported that even the American National Reconnaissance Office —the government branch that maintains spy satellites — will usually reveal when a payload – the craft's cargo or passenger – is theirs, but will keep the mission details classified.

But no state agency claimed Zuma.

What is known is that one of Space X's Falcon 9 rockets will be launched into Low Earth Orbit. Lift-off has initially been scheduled for Wednesday but has been postponed to Thursday, due to weather conditions. The launch will be from Nasa's Kennedy Space Centre in the American state of Florida.

Meanwhile, in the Republic of South Africa, President Jacob Zuma will answer questions in the National Council of Provinces on Thursday at 14:00.

Read more on:    space-x  |  space

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.