Home >> News: January 8th, 2018 >> Story
Satnews Daily
January 8th, 2018

SpaceX's Zuma Mission Reported to Have Burned Up in a Fireball... Total Failure

Two different news agencies, one from the U.S. and one from the U.K have released information regarding failure of the Zuma mission just launched this last Sunday by SpaceX. 

From Fox News...

A U.S. spy satellite which was supposed to launch into orbit on Sunday night is expected to be a “total loss” after it reportedly didn’t make it.

The Falcon 9 rocket, which carried the highly-classified satellite codenamed Zuma, is believed to have plunged back into the Earth’s atmosphere, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing industry and government officials.

Lawmakers from the Senate and House, along with congressional staffers, were briefed on the failed mission, according to the Journal.

Launched by SpaceX from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the satellite reportedly didn’t separate itself from the rocket, as it should have.

A SpaceX spokesperson told Fox News in a statement: "We do not comment on missions of this nature; but as of right now reviews of the data indicate Falcon 9 performed nominally.”

The launch broadcast ended commentary five minutes into the flight, due to the secretive nature of the U.S. satellite. However, the company continued to broadcast the return of the first-stage booster to Cape Canaveral, where it landed upright as part of a recycling effort.

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.

The satellite was provided by defense contractor Northrop Grumman, which wouldn’t name the government agency for which it was provided.

Fox News' Phil Keating contributed to this report.

From Express.co.uk

THE top secret Zuma mission has "burned up" in a fireball after it failed to separate from the SpaceX rocket correctly, reports claim.

SpaceX Zuma mission has been branded a failure after it failed to make orbit

The high-profile mission, backed by SpaceX founder Elon Musk, has been branded a failure after the highly sensitive and expensive craft thought to be a spy satellite was lost.

The report from Dow Jones cited industry and government sources and claimed that the missions highly valuable payload was thought to have burned up in the atmosphere.

The private firm who made the suspected spy satellite for an unknown arm of the US government said they were unable to comment on the “classified mission”.

A SpaceX spokesman said: "We do not comment on missions of this nature, but as of right now reviews of the data indicate Falcon 9 performed nominally."

During the customary live stream, the feed cut out just before the key second stage of the mission which would launch the satellite into orbit to protect the top secret nature of the Zuma mission.

The feed cut away from the fairing deployment, which sees the second stage of Falcon 9 and Zuma enter low orbit, to show the first stage rocket landing at Cape Canaveral

The cut which is bound to send conspiracy theorists wild was announced before the launch due to the sensitive nature of the secret Zuma spacecraft.

Some viewers, however, must have missed the announcement and were confused when the pictures cut away before stage two began.

The lack of information and the secretive nature of the project mean it is unclear weather the Falcon 9 or the Zuma craft were at fault.

The mysterious project saw the private space agency launch the satellite allowing an unnamed government organisation to send messages or spy on the surface.

One of the few scraps of information currently available has revealed Zuma was supposed to enter into a low orbit around Earth.

What the orbiter's mission was and who had planned to operate it is unknown, with US authorities so far refusing the release any more information.

The Zuma craft was launched on a Falcon 9 rocket

The satellite was launched on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

The launch was first pencilled in for the middle of November but was eventually pushed back so SpaceX could analyse their data for a previous launch

SpaceX launched the mission from the Cape Canaveral at 8.00pm EST.

The mission had been the firm’s most secretive to date.

By Taryn Tarrant-Cornish, Express.co.uk