SpaceX's Falcon 9 Brings 'Zuma' US Govt Payload Into Low-Earth Orbit

SpaceX's Falcon 9 Brings 'Zuma' US Govt Payload Into Low-Earth Orbit

She added that the company cannot comment further due to the classified nature of the mission. However, the failed launch of Zuma satellite will make Elon Musk rethink his plans for 2018, experts believe.

Similar in concept to the retired space shuttles that took off like a rocket and landed on an aircraft runway, the OTV is an uncrewed vehicle, with the US Air Force only revealing that it is a testbed for future spacecraft, and not a new orbital space weapon. In 2017, SpaceX completed 18 launches. The super-heavy rocket is based on three returnable first stages, similar to those of the Falcon 9 rocket. In December SpaceX launched its first reused Falcon 9 rocket for NASA, successfully carrying supplies to the International Space Station. The rocket's second stage propels the satellite into orbit. Since the Zuma payload was attached to the second stage, it very well may have been destroyed. That goal is completely in line with Elon Musk and his company's goal to drive down the cost of access to space.

More than 24 hours after the launch, uncertainty continued to loom over both the initial mission and the fate of the satellite. Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false.

The U.S. government's hush-hush Zuma satellite may have run into some serious problems during or shortly after its Sunday (Jan. 7) launch, according to media reports.

UPDATE [1/9/18, 1:05 p.m. EST]: SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell released a statement Tuesday, saying their rocket, Falcon 9, "did everything correctly".

Classified indeed. Pretty much all we know about Zuma is its vague destination - low-Earth orbit.

SpaceX will still execute its scheduled "static fire" test of the Falcon Heavy rocket at another Cape Canaveral launchpad, Shotwell said.

Zuma is a U.S. government payload delivered by Northrop Gruman, but its purpose is classified.

While officials haven't commented on the status of the satellite, the Pentagon's Strategic Command, which update satellites orbiting the planet, hasn't updated its catalog to show where the satellite is, according to the Journal.

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