Technology Musk's Space Dreams Tested by Zuma's Mystery Failure

19:00  12 january  2018
19:00  12 january  2018 Source:   bloomberg.com

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.

Its code name: Zuma . Only now, what was supposed to be a triumph for Musk and his SpaceX has turned into a potential setback after the satellite went missing. The episode is also shaping up as a test for the billionaire’ s ambitions in space — especially SpaceX’ s

Musk ' s Space Dreams Tested by Zuma ' s Mystery Failure . Its code name: Zuma . Only now, what was supposed to be a triumph for Musk and his Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has turned into a potential setback after the satellite went missing.

Elon Musk, chief executive officer for Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), speaks during the 67th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016.: Musk's Space Dreams Are Tested by Mystery Failure © Bloomberg/Bloomberg Musk's Space Dreams Are Tested by Mystery Failure (Bloomberg) -- It was one of the most important things Elon Musk has ever launched into space: a government satellite so shrouded in secrecy that virtually everything about it is classified.

Its code name: Zuma.

Only now, what was supposed to be a triumph for Musk and his Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has turned into a potential setback after the satellite went missing. The episode is also shaping up as a test for the billionaire’s ambitions in space -- especially SpaceX’s hard-won ability to compete for military 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.

Musk ' s Space Dreams Tested by Zuma ' s Mystery Failure . Its code name: Zuma . Only now, what was supposed to be a triumph for Musk and his Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has turned into a potential setback after the satellite went missing.

Musk ’ s space dreams tested by mystery Zuma failure . Maybe not the best idea to have called it Zuma , just asking for failure I guess. It was one of the most important things Elon Musk has ever launched into space

“They’re concerned any failure might hinder their ability to get future national security launch contracts,” said Brian Weeden, the director of program planning for the Secure World Foundation, a space-policy think tank. “National security payloads are a very important potential market for SpaceX.”

Presumed Lost

Details are scant and it’s far from clear who, if anyone, is at fault. But this much is certain: Zuma, perched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, streaked across the Florida sky from Cape Canaveral on Sunday evening and the first stage returned safely to land. Cheers went up inside SpaceX Mission Control, in Hawthorne, California.

But something went wrong. By Monday evening, Zuma was presumed lost.

Gwynne Shotwell, the chief operating officer of SpaceX, issued a strongly worded statement on Tuesday that placed the blame elsewhere.

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.

Its code name: Zuma . Only now, what was supposed to be a triumph for Musk and his Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has turned into a potential setback after the satellite went missing. The episode is also shaping up as a test for the billionaire’ s ambitions in space — especially SpaceX’ s

Its code name: Zuma . Only now, what was supposed to be a triumph for Musk and his Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has turned into a potential setback after the satellite went missing. The episode is also shaping up as a test for the billionaire’ s ambitions in space — especially SpaceX’ s

“After review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night,” Shotwell said. SpaceX declined to comment further, citing the mission’s classified status, as did Northrop Grumman Corp., which hired SpaceX as the launch contractor.

SpaceX’s review so far indicates that “no design, operational or other changes are needed,” Shotwell said. The company doesn’t anticipate any impact on its upcoming launch schedule, including a Falcon 9 mission in three weeks.

Likely Investigations

“There’s a long tradition of not commenting on problems with classified missions, unless it blows up in such a way that everyone can see it,” said John Logsdon, founder and former director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University.

“There will be at least three investigations. SpaceX will follow through to make sure they were not part of the problem,” he said. “There will be an internal investigation at Northrop Grumman. And the sponsoring agency will do an investigation. No matter what Zuma was, it was expensive. A billion dollars is not out of the ball park.”

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

  Did SpaceX just lose a secret U.S. spy satellite? Does SpaceX satellite launch failure highlight dangers of privatizing space travel?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.

Its code name: Zuma . Only now, what was supposed to be a triumph for Musk and his Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has turned into a potential setback after the satellite went missing. The episode is also shaping up as a test for the billionaire’ s ambitions in space -- especially SpaceX’ s

SpaceX launches secret mission code named Zuma . Only now, what was supposed to be a triumph for Musk and his SpaceX has turned into a potential setback after the satellite went missing. The episode is also shaping up as a test for the billionaire' s ambitions in space , especially SpaceX' s hard-won

Whatever the cause, the mishap could scarcely come at a worse time for Musk. Just days before Sunday’s launch, his flagship public company, Tesla Inc., once again pushed back its production target for its pivotal Model 3 sedan. The move raised questions about whether the electric-car company would need to raise cash.

Closely held SpaceX, meanwhile, is heading into what is due to be a busy year. The company has said it plans about 30 missions in 2018 after completing a record 18 last year. 

Falcon Heavy

SpaceX is slated to demonstrate the maiden flight of Falcon Heavy, a larger and more powerful rocket, later this month. And along with Boeing Co., it has a contract with NASA to fly astronauts to the International Space Station as part of the “Commercial Crew” program, with the first crucial test flight scheduled for the second quarter.

Zuma was SpaceX’s third military launch. The Falcon 9 won U.S. Air Force certification for national-security space missions in May 2015, breaking a lock long-held by United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp.

Contracts for military launches include satellites that let troops communicate on battlefields and are estimated to be valued at about $70 billion through 2030.

 

ANC Is Said to Agree on Zuma Exit as South African President .
The leadership of South Africa’s ruling party decided that President Jacob Zuma must leave office but didn’t set a time-frame for his exit, according to six senior party officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. The newly elected top six leaders of the party will manage the transition that will concentrate power in the hands of his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, who won control of the African National Congress a month ago, according to the officials, who are members of the ANC’s National Executive Committee, which took the decision at a meeting near Pretoria, the capital, late Friday night.

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