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SpaceX prepares to launch top-secret spacecraft

This photo provided by NASA, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon spacecraft launches from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017. (NASA via AP)

After weeks of delays, space exploration firm SpaceX will finally launch its secretive Zuma spacecraft Sunday.

The rocket is expected to lift off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Eastern.

The livestream will likely be cut short to avoid revealing its destination. Though SpaceX has revealed it is headed for low-Earth orbit, it hasn't specified where.

The payload on board belongs to the U.S. government; hence the secrecy surrounding its contents.

Such missions are generally kept confidential, CNN reports. Typically, they revolve around "military concerns" -- i.e. national security, defense or surveillance.

This is the third such government-commissioned launch, Space.com reports. The first two were a spy satellite and a confidential U.S. Air Force mission.

SpaceX attributed the almost two months of delays to a variety of reasons, including "fairing testing" and "extreme weather." Last week, however, the company declared the rocket ready for launch.

"Team at the Cape completed additional propellant-loading tests today," SpaceX tweeted Thursday. "Extreme weather slowed operations, but Falcon 9 and the Zuma spacecraft are healthy and go for launch — now targeting Jan. 7 from Pad 40 in Florida."

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