SpaceX denies Falcon rocket caused secret Zuma mission failure

Cesar Mills
January 12, 2018

Adding to the mystery, the satellite, categorized as US 280, was still listed as a payload on orbit by the U.S. space surveillance system as of Tuesday afternoon, said Laura Grego, a Caltech-trained physicist who is a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX, said Falcon 9 "did everything correctly" in a statement on Tuesday, but added that no further details could be provided because the mission was classified. The flight seemed to go off without a hitch, although we weren't given full access to video throughout the entirety of the flight or detailed telemetry data considering that this was a classified mission for the U.S. Military. And she noted that any reports that the rocket failed are "categorically false".

"I would have to refer you to SpaceX, who conducted the launch", White told Bloomberg News reporter Tony Capaccio at a Pentagon briefing.

SpaceX has pushed back an historic test of the Falcon Heavy, the world's largest rocket.

Last year was a banner year for the private space company with 18 launches.

The Falcon 9 with Zuma kicked off on 8 January 2018 to 04:00 Moscow time from the cosmodrome on Cape Canaveral.

However, SpaceX never officially confirmed the success of the mission.

Shotwell said SpaceX planned to proceed with its launch schedule "since the data reviewed so far indicates that no design, operational or other changes are needed".

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This article was originally published at 10:20 a.m.

Bloomberg, citing a USA official and two congressional aides familiar with the launch, that the Falcon 9's second-stage booster section failed. The first stage of the rocket in about eight minutes made a successful landing. However, the company has not specified if the Zuma payload was "successfully" deployed in the orbit. "Though we have preserved the range opportunity for tomorrow, we will take the time we need to complete the data review and will then confirm a new launch date". It could majorly affect the future business prospects of the company SpaceX associated with the defense, explained the defense analyst at the Lexington Institute, Loren Thompson. However, if the Zuma failed to separate from the upper stage as multiple reports suggest, how does at least part of the blame not lay with SpaceX?

The GovSat 1 satellite is set to launch on the next Falcon 9 rocket mission.

Originally planned to launch back in November, Zuma had a secret payload for the US government.

One possible key to SpaceX's strong defense of its rocket could involve the question of who supplied a key piece of hardware: the payload adapter, which attaches a payload to the rocket. said Northrop Grumman provided the adapter to "mate" Zuma to the Falcon 9.

In 2015, SpaceX was certified by the U.S. Air Force to launch national security satellites.

The foggy responses by concerned authorities are fueling the fire to rumors and speculations about Zuma mission being a failure.

SpaceX has launched national security payloads in the past, including a spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office, and an X-37B space plane for the US Air Force. The spokesman for the corporation said that the company isn't at liberty to comment on a classified mission.

Other reports by GizPress

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