Technology Did SpaceX just lose a secret U.S. spy satellite?

02:36  10 january  2018
02:36  10 january  2018 Source:   nbcnews.com

SpaceX shows off its Falcon Heavy rocket vertical on the launchpad

  SpaceX shows off its Falcon Heavy rocket vertical on the launchpad SpaceX is getting ready for its first ever test flight of the Falcon Heavy, it's heavy-duty rocket aimed at propelling large cargo loads into low Earth orbit. The rocket uses three Falcon 9 boosters combined for maximum load capacity when leaving Earth'sSpaceX is getting ready for its first ever test flight of the Falcon Heavy, it's heavy-duty rocket aimed at propelling large cargo loads into low Earth orbit. The rocket uses three Falcon 9 boosters combined for maximum load capacity when leaving Earth's atmosphere, and it's looking to do its first test launch within the next few weeks from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

Does SpaceX satellite launch failure highlight dangers of privatizing space travel? The loss of a classified, multi-billion-dollar government spy satellite is fast becoming a public black eye for private space transport and a whodunit mystery for industry watchers.

Cape Canaveral - A US intelligence satellite , code-named Zuma, sent into space aboard a SpaceX rocket on Sunday failed to reach orbit and is presumed lost , according to “For secret satellites , they don’t give us the orbit path, but they do make a catalog entry,” McDowell tells The Verge.

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The loss of a classified, multi-billion-dollar government spy satellite is fast becoming a public black eye for private space transport and a whodunit mystery for industry watchers.

SpaceX Delays Mysterious Zuma Spacecraft Launch to Sunday

  SpaceX Delays Mysterious Zuma Spacecraft Launch to Sunday SpaceX has pushed back the launch of the mysterious Zuma spacecraftfor the U.S. government to no earlier than Sunday (Jan. 7).A Falcon 9 rocket will launch the secret Zuma mission from SpaceX's pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window opens Sunday at 8 p.m. EST (0100 GMT).SpaceX announced the new flight target for Zuma late Thursday (Jan. 4), one day after saying that the mission, which was initially set for a Jan. 4 liftoff, was near ready to launch on Friday (Jan. 5). SpaceX representatives said additional fueling tests on the Falcon 9 were performed Wednesday and Thursday.

9 (Xinhua) -- A highly classified U . S . spy satellite that was launched aboard a SpaceX rocket on Sunday reportedly failed to reach orbit and might have been lost , a SpaceX spokesperson said. But SpaceX hinted that the presumed problem may have nothing to do with its rocket

The Falcon 9 rocket was actually used to send a top- secret U . S . government spy satellite into space . The mission was SpaceX 's first for the Department of Defense, a customer Musk has been trying to do business with for Flint Could Soon Lose Its State-Supplied Bottled Water Program. 0:58.

SpaceX said its Falcon 9 rocket, launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, performed flawlessly. Northrup Grumman, the aerospace contractor that hired SpaceX to sling its "Zuma" satellite into orbit, says it's "classified." A government official says the mission is a "write-off."

In a statement Tuesday morning, SpaceX president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwel said, "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," she said. "Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false."

Northrop Grumman declined to comment. "This is a classified mission," a spokesperson told NBC News. "We cannot comment on classified missions."

SpaceX successfully launches top-secret Zuma spacecraft

  SpaceX successfully launches top-secret Zuma spacecraft SpaceX has successfully launched its first mission of 2018, after capping a record year last year in 2017 with 18 total launches. SpaceX launched Zuma from its SLC-40 launch facility at Cape Canaveral in Florida, which was used instead of its other launch facility at Cape Canaveral because that was being employed for preparations for the launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket.

Expensive US Spy Satellite Presumed Lost After SpaceX Mission Goes Awry. The secret payload built by Northrop Grumman Corp. is believed to have been destroyed, U . S . officials briefed on the mission told Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.

A highly classified spy satellite appears to have been lost after its launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a SpaceX rocket on Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported. Asked to comment, Hawthorne, Calif.-based SpaceX issued a statement Monday afternoon: "We do not

Reuters reported that an investigation into what went wrong is underway.

Image: The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket at Cape CanaveralThe launch of the Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral, Florida for the © Provided by NBCU News Group, a division of NBCUniversal Media LLC Image: The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket at Cape CanaveralThe launch of the Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral, Florida for the "Zuma" U.S. satellite mission. Responding to media reports that the satellite was lost, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell says the rocket "did everything correctly" and suggestions otherwise are "categorically false." Ultimately, though, the manufacturer of the satellite assumes responsibility, industry experts say.

"It's standard that the satellite provider is required to insure it. It falls more on Northrup," Jim Cantrell, an early SpaceX employee who is now the CEO of Vector, a micro satellite launch startup, told NBC News.

The satellite launched Jan. 7 on the back of a rocket launched by SpaceX, the private space exploration company formed by entrepreneur Elon Musk. Government and industry officials have said that the payload failed to separate from the second stage of the rocket and plunged back into the atmosphere.

U.S. spy satellite believed destroyed after failing to reach orbit: officials

  U.S. spy satellite believed destroyed after failing to reach orbit: officials A U.S. spy satellite that was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a SpaceX rocket on Sunday failed to reach orbit and is assumed to be a total loss, two U.S. officials briefed on the mission said on Monday. A U.S. spy satellite that was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a SpaceX rocket on Sunday failed to reach orbit and is assumed to be a total loss, two U.S.

SpaceX apparently lost the classified Zuma Government Satellite it Failed to Reach Orbit, U . S . Spy Satellite Aboard SpaceX Lost , SpaceX Might Have Lost A Super- Secret US Government Satellite , Highly Breaking news a lost satellite in outer space has just crashed in ohio.

A highly classified U . S . spy satellite that was launched aboard a SpaceX rocket on Sunday failed to reach orbit and might have been lost , U . S . media reported Monday, citing officials briefed on the mission. "We do not comment on missions of this nature

The failure comes at a sensitive time for SpaceX, which has recently been trying to establish itself as a low-cost launcher for Pentagon missions. Both SpaceX and Northrup are casting blame on each other, Ars Technica reported, citing a source familiar with discussions on Capitol Hill.

"There's no reason to think that anyone has been dealt a body blow because of the loss of one mission," Peter de Selding, editor of Space Intel Report, told NBC News. In all likelihood, he said, the satellite's manufacturer will be fully paid for its work even if it's to blame for the satellite's apparent loss. If it turns out that a glitch with SpaceX's rocket is responsible for the apparent loss, SpaceX's busy launch schedule for 2018 could face disruption — with possible loss of revenues.

SpaceX said the Zuma mission's apparent failure wouldn't affect the company's upcoming launches, including a much-anticipated inaugural demonstration flight of the massive new Falcon Heavy rocket later this month.

"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," Shotwell said in the statement.

The high-profile error is an embarrassment for the effort. But SpaceX is so cheap relative to its competitors that the scrubbing is unlikely to derail the relationship.

"When it's hundreds of millions of dollars versus something that's $60,000 to $90,000, it's hard to justify the taxpayer dollars," said Cantrell.

If anything, the solution is to send up more rockets, more frequently. And that means following the SpaceX model.

"The reason why air travel is so reliable is because we fly thousands of airliners every day," Robert Zubrin, rocket scientist and founder of the nonprofit Mars Society, told NBC News in an email.

"Right now, the average rate of spaceflight is about 1 launch every 4 days. Back when airplanes flew at that frequency, they crashed all the time. If we want to make space travel as safe as air travel, we need to make it much cheaper."

Delays and safety concerns mar NASA’s plans to fly astronauts on commercial spacecraft .
NASA’s ambitious initiative continues to suffer from schedule delays, as well as questions regarding the program’s safety — and Congress isn’t happy about it. Members of the House Subcommittee on Space held a hearing on Wednesday in which they grilled representatives from NASA and its commercial partners about the program, known as Commercial Crew. They voiced concerns that the commercial vehicles might put human crew members at risk, and that the companies will miss crucial deadlines by two to three years.

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