Mystery continues about fate of Secret Satellite codenamed Zuma launched by SpaceX

Mystery continues about fate of Secret Satellite codenamed Zuma launched by SpaceX

SpaceX launched top-secret satellite codenamed ‘Zuma’ but the latest reports suggest that the satellite could have been lost in space. SpaceX launched the satellite and the company led by Elon Musk informed that it has done everything to launch the satellite successfully. As the mission was top-secret, it hasn’t been revealed which government agency was responsible for the satellite codenamed ‘Zuma’.

SpaceX launched the satellite last Sunday. Usually, the space exploration company webcasts its launch events. In this case, the launch event webcast was cut short as the company was not allowed to reveal any details about the satellite.

On Monday, media reports suggested that the satellite launch failed. SpaceX provided limited details but added that its Falcon 9 rocket performed the job correctly. SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell informed, “For clarity: 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.” The launch is important for SpaceX as the company has contested hard in the past to gain access to secret missions and national security launches.

"Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false. Due to the classified nature of the payload, no further comment is possible," SpaceX added.

The satellite was developed by Northrop Grumman. The company has declined to comment on classified mission. Satellite mission Zuma has become a major mystery as limited information is available about the mission in public domain.

"I'd have to refer you to SpaceX, who conducted the launch," DoD spokeswoman Dana White said Thursday in response to a question about whether the project succeeded or failed. The Pentagon has refused to comment on the issue.

Matt Desch, the chief executive officer of Iridium, a communications satellite company said, “We’re moving forward with plans for our next launch. I know there are people who would love SpaceX to be taken down a few notches. And I’d be glad to hold them accountable for things they should be held accountable for. But this isn’t one. I believe they weren’t really responsible.”

A report published by Washington Post informed, “Last week members of Congress began receiving briefings, but were tight-lipped about the classified sessions. U.S. Rep. Mike D. Rogers, R-Ala., chairman of the strategic forces subcommittee, said in a statement that while he couldn’t comment on classified matters.”

Rogers added that his committee would provide rigorous oversight that accounts for that risk and ensures that we can meet all of our national security space requirements as the Air Force looks to competitively procure space launch services in the future.

SpaceX's new, powerful rocket, the Falcon Heavy, was at its launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday, awaiting an engine test-firing sometime this week. The California-based company aims to launch the Heavy by month's end, making its debut with chief executive Elon Musk's own personal Tesla Roadster on board. Another Falcon 9, meanwhile, is scheduled to fly in three weeks with a communication satellite for Luxembourg.

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