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US Spy Satellite and “Zuma” Payload Reported Lost – Or Not
There are Numerous Contradictory Reports About the SpaceX Mission
Reports from such sources as the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and anonymous officials are indicating a “spy satellite” carried aloft by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has been lost. These and other publications are saying the recently-launched satellite — carrying a highly classified payload called “Zuma” — has crashed. The satellite, which is estimated to have cost several billions of dollars, reportedly failed to make it to orbit and is “presumed to have crashed.”
There hasn’t been much in the way of official reporting on the matter, likely because no government agency or official entity has actually claimed the satellite.
There are reports that conflict with the WSJ‘s story, however. Other sources have published contradictory information. For instance, “Space Track” (a space situational awareness service) has added something new to its catalog. This indicates the satellite actually reached orbit. Both SpaceX and Northrop Grumman (the latter built the rocket) told the website Engadget that Falcon 9 “performed nominally.”
According to The Verge, there has been further commentary from SpaceX that conflicts with reports of the satellite’s loss. SpaceX president and COO Gwynn Shotwell reportedly said,
“For clarity: 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. Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false.”
You can find more on Space Flight Insider: Was Secret Zuma Mission Lost?
Or, check out Popular Mechanics, Rumors Swirl That Secret Zuma Spacecraft Launched By SpaceX Was Lost.
Here’s a look at the Zuma mission.
This article was brought to you in its entirely by Quantico Tactical (@quanticotactical), a member of JTF Awesome – find ’em on the Facetergrambook at /QuanticoTactical/.
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