Sci-tech

A Highly Classified Spy Satellite Has Been Destroyed. Probably

A Highly Classified Spy Satellite Has Been Destroyed. Probably

The launch falls on the heels of Sunday's Falcon 9 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station that attempted to send the secretive Zuma satellite into space.

"I think the rocket itself is considered an extremely reliable vehicle", he said.

"After review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night. If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately", Gwynne Shotwell, the company's president and chief operating officer, said in a statement to Business Insider. Defense company Northrop Grumman requested the launch in behalf of the government, further casting a veil of secrecy on the missions. Compromising relationships with the military would carry significant consequences: Defense contract launches were estimated to be valued at about $70 billion through 2030 in a 2014 government report.

Secret US spy satellite may be lost in space after SpaceX launch
SpaceX Says Its Rocket Did Not Doom Zuma Spacecraft

Shotwell said in her Tuesday statement that the company "does not anticipate any impact on the upcoming launch schedule" at the end of the month since the data reviewed so far "indicates that no design, operational or other changes are needed".

A top-secret government mission launched by SpaceX, the aerospace company founded by tech mogul Elon Musk, may have failed on Sunday night. In the static fire test, SpaceX engineers will ignite all 27 of the heavy-lift rocket's engines almost simultaneously for the first time, holding the rocket down on the launch pad while they do. Basically, anything that's in space makes it into a database and while Zuma made it into one of those cataloges, that doesn't mean it's successful. One of the aides told Bloomberg that both the satellite and the rocket's second stage fell into the ocean.

Yesterday afternoon, media reports began appearing stating that the satellite was lost and members of Congress had been briefed on the failure.

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Zuma was built by the defence contractor Northrop Grumman, though it is unknown which USA agency would have been using the satellite. Army Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Davis, the Pentagon spokesman for space policy, referred questions to SpaceX.

Originally scheduled for a November launch, Zuma was delayed by potential concern about another mission's payload fairing, the shell on top that protects a satellite during launch. The takeoff had been pushed back several times since late 2017, with the past week's extreme weather on the East Coast contributing to the latest delay.

In short, SpaceX says everything worked right with their Falcon 9 rocket. "It falls more on Northrup", Jim Cantrell, an early SpaceX employee who is now the CEO of Vector, a micro satellite launch startup, told NBC News. The webcast then concluded. That includes Northrop Grumman, which built the satellite for the USA government. SpaceX is also under contract from NASA to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, and it maintains that the first test flights with humans on board could happen as soon as this year.

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Last year was a banner year for the private space company with 18 launches. In 2014, SpaceX sued the Air Force arguing that it should be able to compete for the contracts. United Launch Alliance is scheduled Wednesday to send a Delta IV rocket to space for the National Reconnaissance Office, a USA intelligence agency.

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