Ziff Davis agrees to buy Mashable for $50 million, Virgin Orbit wins its first Defense Department launch contract and mystery surrounds payload SpaceX is launching.

Ziff Davis Agrees to Buy Mashable for $50 Million

Magazine publisher Ziff Davis, owned by Hollywood’s J2 Global Inc., has reportedly agreed to acquire online media company Mashable for $50 million, the Business Journal reports. Mashable posted a $10 million loss last year after an effort to produce video content and advertisements did not pan out, the Wall Street Journal reported, and is on track to post another substantial loss this year.

Virgin Orbit Wins Its First Defense Department Launch Contract

Virgin Orbit announced that it had received its first launch contract for a LauncherOne mission from a Defense Department agency, SpaceNews reports. The company said the U.S. Air Force’s Space Test Program partnered with the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental to make the launch award to Virgin Orbit.

Mystery Surrounds Payload SpaceX Is Launching

SpaceX plans to launch its third and most secretive payload for the military on Friday, Ars Technica reports. The mission was not made public until a launch license was released a month ago, and the company didn't acknowledge the launch until this last week. The payload was developed by Northrup Grumman and has the mysterious name "Zuma."

Technology reporter Garrett Reim can be reached at greim@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @garrettreim for the latest in L.A. tech news.