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renegadebusdallas.com January 22, 2018


SpaceX-launched satellite isn't seen in orbit, Pentagon says

11 January 2018, 12:38 | Francis Delgado

Where the top secret spy satellite lands nobody knows. Zuma Mission by Spacex

Where the top secret spy satellite lands nobody knows. Zuma Mission by Spacex

"After review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night", said the statement from Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX.

"If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately", Shotwell said. First SpaceX will perform what is known as a wet dress rehearsal, filling the rocket with fuel and performing all systems checks short of engine ignition.

The nature of the mission remains shrouded in mystery.

Last March, a Falcon 9 was relaunched into space-the first time an orbital rocket was reused. Northrop Grumman VP of Strategic Communications Tim Paynter, meanwhile, said that he could not comment on classified missions. However, rumors are now swirling that SpaceX actually failed the Zuma mission, especially after there was no confirmation that it was a success. Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false.

The Falcon's first stage completed its job, lifting the rocket off the pad and toward space, then separated and landed back at Cape Canaveral.

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"Normally when you buy a rocket launch, you've paid for "the payload adapter on the rocket final stage pops the satellite off at the end".

This is not the first time a payload was lost on a SpaceX mission. During missions for commercial satellite customers, SpaceX typically returns to the webcast to confirm that the payload has separated from the second stage, but Zuma was a classified mission so the lack of further messages wasn't surprising. On Monday, Ars began to hear discussion from sources that the mysterious Zuma spacecraft-the goal of which was never specified, nor which U.S. military or spy agency had backed it-may not have survived.

Following what turned out to be an eventful Zuma launch on January 7, SpaceX is gearing up to perform a static fire test on Falcon Heavy as early as today, January 10. Additionally, a SpaceX rocket carrying supply missions to the International Space Station for NASA exploded in 2015. The company has said it plans to launch about 30 missions in 2018 after completing a record 18 past year.

The loss of a government payload comes at a bad time for SpaceX, which was founded by Elon Musk, who is CEO of both the privately-held rocket company and electric auto maker Tesla.

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 launched a campaign in Congress and the courts challenging what he called an unfair monopoly. Since the last Space Shuttle flight in 2011, NASA has relied upon the Russian space agency to carry US astronauts to the ISS.



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