A Highly Classified Spy Satellite Has Been Destroyed. Probably

Watch Elon Musk’s SpaceX launch the classified payload for the U.S. government referred to by code name Zuma

Watch Elon Musk’s SpaceX launch the classified payload for the U.S. government referred to by code name Zuma

Zuma lifted off from SpaceX's Space Launch Complex-40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL on Sunday evening at 8:00 pm ET in what appeared to be a flawless Falcon 9 launch and landing of the first stage.

"After review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly Sunday night".

She went on to say the classified nature of the cargo kept her from saying anything else. Northrop Grumman declined comment, citing inability to comment on classified missions.

On Sunday night SpaceX launched the Zuma satellite into space. "Due to the classified nature of the payload, no further comment is possible", said Shotwell.

So if there was a problem, who's at fault? "And that would put them as responsible on whether it separated from the second stage".

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A government official and two congressional aides, all of which are familiar with the matters of the Falcon 9 launch, anonymously said that the second stage of the rocket failed.

The mysterious SpaceX Falcon 9 Zuma mission is said to be a failure, as its mysterious satellite is apparently nowhere to be found. "We can not comment on a classified mission", he said.

The company has said it plans about 30 missions in 2018 after completing a record 18 past year.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), who heads the House Armed Services Strategic Forces subcommittee, said in a statement Wednesday that "space is a risky business" but his panel remains "committed to providing rigorous oversight that accounts for that risk and ensures that we can meet all of our national security space requirements as the Air Force looks to competitively procure space launch services in the future".

Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said on Twitter that SpaceX did not supply the payload adaptor, which shoots the satellite off the rocket, for this mission.

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SpaceX said the Zuma mission's apparent failure wouldn't affect the company's upcoming launches, including a much-anticipated inaugural demonstration flight of the massive new Falcon Heavy rocket later this month. "Info blackout renders any conclusion - launcher issue?" But it did show both the launch and the landing of the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket back at Cape Canaveral.

Originally scheduled for a November launch, Zuma was delayed by potential concern about another mission's payload fairing, the shell on top that protects a satellite during launch.

But even if SpaceX's Falcon 9 performed perfectly, it is not a good time for the company, founded by Musk in 2002, to have something happen to such an important payload.

SpaceX competes for military launches with United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp, which was the sole provider for the Pentagon until Musk began a campaign in Congress and the courts challenging what he called an unfair monopoly.

"The first statement by SpaceX was that the failure to achieve orbit was not theirs", so there's no reason so far to question the company's planned participation in NASA space projects, Sen.

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SpaceX on Tuesday defended the performance of one of its rockets used to launch a USA spy satellite that is believed to have been lost after failing to reach orbit, adding that no changes were anticipated to its upcoming launch schedule.

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