SpaceX Denies Rocket Failure During Secret Zuma Mission

Eloi Lecerf
Janeiro 12, 2018

"I can't conclude anything definitely", said Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who avidly tracks the comings and goings of space objects.

Bloomberg reports that the Falcon 9's upper stage failed, contradicting what SpaceX is saying. Additionally, a SpaceX rocket carrying supply missions to the International Space Station for NASA exploded in 2015.

Because of Zuma's secrecy, SpaceX didn't live stream the entire mission as it typically does. Just like its origins, the so-called Zuma spacecraft's purpose is a tightly guarded secret as well, according to Tech Crunch.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma has said he is "seriously considering" listing the conglomerate on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

SpaceX, meanwhile, had two high-profile incidents.

"If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately", she said in a statement. But as The Verge points out, Shotwell's statement appears to contradict reports from the Wall Street Journal that Zuma did not successfully make it into orbit.

To be fair, part of the glory days of NASA was a result of the Cold War, the space race with the Soviet Union. Last year, SpaceX completed 18 launches.

1_3_Falcon 9 Dragon

"Since the data reviewed so far indicates that no design, operational or other changes are needed, we do not anticipate any impact on the upcoming launch schedule", SpaceX added.

"We do not comment on missions of this nature, but as of right now, reviews of the data indicate Falcon 9 performed nominally", company spokesman James Gleeson told Space.com via email.

Washington [U.S.A.] Jan. 10: A highly classified U.S. spy satellite Zuma that was launched aboard a SpaceX rocket on Sunday reportedly failed to reach orbit and might have been lost, Xinhua said.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Monday shared a long-exposure photo of the Falcon launch and landing taken by Satellite Beach High student John Kraus, with no indication that anything was amiss. The intelligence agency, which falls under the Defense Department, first labeled the payload as some sort of "spacecraft" that would conduct a low-Earth orbit, according to the mission's press release.

The expert also refuted claims that the loss of Zuma is "a front, a cover to hide a successful insertion in a secret orbit or some other scam". When SpaceX has had mishaps in the past, it's grounded the company for months.

For years, the company has been in a heated battle with ULA over big contracts to launch national security payloads, long seen by Musk as a key source of revenue. "Consistent with SpaceX claim that rocket behaved correctly".

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