Zuma satellite launched by SpaceX reportedly ‘total loss,’ failed to launch into orbit

Zuma satellite launched by SpaceX reportedly ‘total loss,’ failed to launch into orbit

January 09, 2018 3:15 AM

A U.S. spy satellite which was supposed to launch into orbit on Sunday night is expected to be a “total loss” after it reportedly didn’t make it.

A U.S. spy satellite which was supposed to launch into orbit on Sunday night is expected to be a “total loss” after it reportedly didn’t make it.

The Falcon 9 rocket, which carried the highly-classified satellite codenamed Zuma, is believed to have plunged back into the Earth’s atmosphere, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing industry and government officials.

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Lawmakers from the Senate and House, along with congressional staffers, were briefed on the failed mission, according to the Journal.

Launched by SpaceX from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the satellite reportedly didn’t separate itself from the rocket, as it should have.

In this image made with an 8-minute long exposure the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and lands as seen from from the Ocean Club Marina in Port Canaveral, Fla., Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. On Sunday, SpaceX has launched a secret satellite codenamed Zuma on its first flight of the new year. (Malcolm Denemark/Florida Today via AP)

The highly classified satellite, which launched on the Falcon 9 rocket Sunday night, was provided by Northrop Grumman, which wouldn’t name the government agency for which it was provided.  (Malcolm Denemark/Florida Today via AP)

A SpaceX spokesperson told Fox News in a statement: “We do not comment on missions of this nature; but as of right now reviews of the data indicate Falcon 9 performed nominally.”

The launch broadcast ended commentary five minutes into the flight, due to the secretive nature of the U.S. satellite. However, the company continued to broadcast the return of the first-stage booster to Cape Canaveral, where it landed upright as part of a recycling effort.

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While officials haven’t commented on the status of the satellite, the Pentagon’s Strategic Command, which update satellites orbiting the planet, hasn’t updated its catalog to show where the satellite is, according to the Journal.

The satellite was provided by defense contractor Northrop Grumman, which wouldn’t name the government agency for which it was provided.

 

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2018-01-09T03:49:47+00:00January 9th, 2018|