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SpaceX says rocket worked fine as spy satellite reported lost
11 January 2018, 12:24 | Brenda Erickson
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Neither industry nor government officials would comment on the objective of Zuma.
A highly classified and multibillion-dollar USA spy satellite atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is presumed to have been destroyed, never reaching orbit on its Sunday launch, according to news reports.
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. A government official says the mission is a "write-off".
"After review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly Sunday night".
"If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately", Shotwell added. Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false.
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This was SpaceX's third classified mission for the USA government, AP reported. The satellite was destined for low-Earth orbit, Robin Seemangal wrote for Wired late past year, and unlike most launches, the satellite manufacturer Northrop Grumman, not SpaceX, supplied the payload adapter used to secure the satellite during launch and release it into orbit. The odd explanation seems to have to do with a device within the rocket called the payload adapter, the interface between the launcher and satellite.
Only now, what was supposed to be a triumph for Musk and his Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has turned into a potential setback after the satellite went missing.
While the landing was nearly ideal, the company did not go on to confirm that the mission was a success, at least officially, according to Ars Technica. Cheers went up inside SpaceX Mission Control, in Hawthorne, California.
Later on Monday afternoon another space reporter, Peter B.de Selding, reported on Twitter that he too had been hearing about problems with the satellite. In all likelihood, he said, the satellite's manufacturer will be fully paid for its work even if it's to blame for the satellite's apparent loss.
A secret spacecraft launched by a SpaceX rocket on Sunday failed to enter a stable orbit and was lost.
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The wait has been years, but SpaceX's giant Falcon Heavy rocket is poised for its first launch from Kennedy Space Center.
"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", Shotwell said in the statement.
SpaceX, meanwhile, had two high-profile incidents. But SpaceX is so cheap relative to its competitors that the scrubbing is unlikely to derail the relationship. And that means following the SpaceX model. Unnamed US officials told NBC that Zuma was a "write-off" and had either broken up or plunged into the Atlantic. Back when airplanes flew at that frequency, they crashed all the time.
"Right now, the average rate of spaceflight is about 1 launch every 4 days. If we want to make space travel as safe as air travel, we need to make it much cheaper".
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