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US spy satellite believed lost after SpaceX launch

16 Enero 2018

SpaceX will use the Falcon 9 to launch Zuma (not the Falcon Heavy it's also prepping for a launch, likely sometime this month, also at Cape Canaveral in Florida where the Zuma mission will depart from).

Lon Rains, Northrop Grumman's communications director, said: "The Zuma payload is a restricted payload".

The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket left Cape Canaveral in Florida, yesterday, to carry the satellite toward an undisclosed orbit.

Northrop Grumman, the aerospace and defense company that built the Zuma spacecraft, would only say: "This is a classified program". SpaceX has also declined to give details about the spacecraft. That was the fourth set of 10 satellites in a series of 75 total satellites that SpaceX has launched for Iridium's next-generation global satellite constellation.

He has warned multiple times that the Falcon Heavy may not succeed in its first launch attempt since there are elements of its operation that are difficult to test on the ground. SpaceX issued a statement Tuesday suggesting that its rocket performed as designed.

"If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately", she said in a statement. If the news comes true, then this is going to be the second biggest failure of SpaceX in just over two years, after the explosion of the Facebook's internet satellite during pre-flight preparations back in September 2016. "Due to the classified nature of the payload, no further comment is possible", said Shotwell.

"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", SpaceX added.

Falcon 9 first stage has landed at Landing Zone 1 on January 7, 2018. The company has not disclosed which arm of the government it is working on behalf of.

Speculation has been swirling all day about the fate of the mission.

The satellite, according to experts cited by the newspaper, is believed to have cost billions of dollars.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp, led by entrepreneur Elon Musk, launched its first satellite for the US military with its Falcon 9 rocket in May of last year.

US spy satellite believed lost after SpaceX launch