The Zuma satellite appears lost-here's what we know so far

The Zuma satellite appears lost-here's what we know so far

Update: While live coverage of the mission ended immediately after, SpaceX has nailed their first Falcon 9 booster recovery of the new year after Zuma's Core 1043 returned to Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the secret Zuma spacecraft launches into space from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on January 7, 2018. "For clarity: after review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night", Gwynne Shotwell, President and C.O.O. of SpaceX, said in a statement to The Hive on Tuesday. "We can not post a commentary regarding the mission but the data received as of now indicate the rocket performed as it is supposed to". "Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false".

Shotwell said SpaceX anticipates no impact on the upcoming launch schedule.

Northrop Grumman has refused to comment on the multibillion-dollar satellite, which was a highly secretive project for both companies. The Zuma satellite, according to one of the sources, fell into the ocean.

With a price tag of $62 million, the Falcon 9 was designed as a two-stage rocket, becoming the world's first orbital-class rocket with reflight capability.

Northrop Grumman is the company that built the Zuma payload, and it told Business Insider in November that, after the USA government tasked it with picking a launch company, it chose SpaceX.

He listed three possible scenarios if the satellite did, in fact, fail: Zuma could have been put into the wrong orbit; the satellite suffered some sort of internal failure after reaching orbit; or Zuma failed to detach from the second stage.

Last year was a banner year for the private space company with 18 launches. A senior SpaceX official, not addressing the fate of the satellite, said a data review showed the rocket itself worked normally. The reports also say that U.S. Strategic Command, which tracks all operational satellites as well as space debris above a certain size, has not registered or started tracking the Zuma satellite.

Falcon Heavy-a modified variant of the Falcon 9 and equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft at full power-is due to be rolled out at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, for static fire tests later this week. The recent "Zuma" launch appeared to go off without a hitch, but now there's reason to think the United States spy satellite might have been destroyed before going into operation.

"Standing down on Zuma mission to take a closer look at data from recent fairing testing for another customer", SpaceX tweeted on November 16. For all one knows, it might have gone just as planned and it might have started its proposed national security mission.

The reported failure may trace back to an adapter that connected the satellite to the rocket. The California-based company aims to launch the Heavy by month's end, making its debut with chief executive Elon Musk's own personal Tesla Roadster on board. The maker commented that the payload was meant for the government which would be carried to the lower orbit of the blue planet.

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