SpaceX launches Zuma spacecraft, most secretive mission to date

SpaceX Zuma spacecraft

SpaceX launches Zuma spacecraft, most secretive mission to date

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).

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

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It is believed the Zuma burned up in the atmosphere. In December SpaceX launched its first reused Falcon 9 rocket for NASA, successfully carrying supplies to the International Space Station. The highly anticipated rocket, which is SpaceX's largest, will take its maiden flight soon after that, she said. The rocket's second stage propels the satellite into orbit. The space company has said it plans to completing about 30 missions this year, Time wrote. This could either indicate that there is nothing to add in addition to the new satellite entry, or that the Zuma satellite is no longer in orbit.

Citing a US official and two congressional aides who were familiar with the launch, Bloomberg reported that the second stage of SpaceX's Falcon 9 booster rocket failed - losing the satellite. The launch, though, was delayed, with SpaceX saying it needed to examine a potential issue with the Falcon 9 rocket's nose cone. Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false.

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Northrop Grumman - which provided the satellite for an undisclosed U.S. government entity - said it cannot comment on classified missions. The Falls Church, Va., based defense contractor built Zuma and was responsible for choosing SpaceX to launch it, according to sources quoted in The Wall Street Journal.

SpaceX initially tried to launch the rocket a few times in 2017, but scrubbed the missions for weather and other launch condition concerns. Boeing eased 0.4%, and Lockheed Martin (LMT), whose United Launch Alliance joint venture with Boeing provides launch services for the Pentagon, dipped 0.3%. The strange thing about the Falcon Heavy is, it will carry a Tesla Roadster to Mars.

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The expert also refuted claims that the loss of Zuma is "a front, a cover to hide a successful insertion in a secret orbit or some other scam".

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