SpaceX military satellite mission may have failed

  09 January 2018    Read: 546
SpaceX military satellite mission may have failed
Officials familiar with the launch said that the second-stage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster rocket failed. The satellite was lost, one said, and the other said both the satellite and the second-stage satellite fell into the ocean after the failure.
A military satellite launched by Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) hasn’t been spotted in orbit by the U.S. Strategic Command, creating a mystery about the fate of the classified payload and doubts about whether the mission was a success.

The mission — referred to by the code name Zuma — took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Sunday on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. But the Strategic Command, which monitors more than 23,000 man-made objects in space, said it is not tracking any new satellites since the launch.

A U.S. official and two congressional aides, all familiar with the launch, said on condition of anonymity that the second-stage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster rocket failed. The satellite was lost, one of the congressional aides said, and the other said both the satellite and the second-stage satellite fell into the ocean after the failure.

“We do not comment on missions of this nature; but as of right now reviews of the data indicate Falcon 9 performed nominally,” James Gleeson, a spokesman for SpaceX, said in an email.

The original article was published in the Seattle Times.


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