Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

SpaceX customer blames Northrop Grumman for missing satellite

SpaceX customer blames Northrop Grumman for missing satellite

Apart from that, Bloomberg also reported that the second stage process involving the booster failed to progress in a proper way which caused both the Zuma satellite and Falcon 9 rocket's second stage to fall back into the closest ocean. In 2017, SpaceX completed 18 launches. Rumors associated with the same stated that the mission lost control during the second stage of separation from the rocket and fell back into the Earth.

During a Pentagon briefing, spokeswoman Dana White was asked whether the US Department of Defense considered the Zuma mission a success or a failure.

Despite the launch being shrouded in secrecy, SpaceX seemed to have successfully carried a mysterious government satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Sunday.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the satellite failed to separate properly during the second stage of the mission and dived back into the Earth's atmosphere which caused the failure of the designated mission.

SpaceX did not report any problems with the launch; however, while the company usually announces a successful launch regardless of the classification of the payload, no confirmation was given by SpaceX or Northrup Grumman, the company that manufactured the secret satellite.

As for Northrop Grumman, the manufacturer of the Zuma satellite, it simply added "we can not comment on classified missions". Meanwhile, theories are emerging that the USA government-backed Zuma was a satellite meant to monitor or intercept nuclear activities by North Korea.

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However, it appears that Zuma did not make it into orbit. The company chose SpaceX as the launch provider, noting late previous year that it took "great care to ensure the most affordable and lowest risk scenario for Zuma".

The company says that SpaceX is all set for the maiden flight of its Falcon Heavy.

Zuma mission launch on January 7 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. "If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately", SpaceX, which is led by entrepreneur Elon Musk, said in an emailed statement.

The company has not said when exactly the rocket's engines will fire. Another Falcon 9, meanwhile, is scheduled to fly in three weeks with a communication satellite for Luxembourg.

Teams will watch closely as the three-core launch vehicle is loaded with propellant at pad 39A on Thursday, then briefly fire its 27 Merlin engines for the first time.

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