SpaceX, Pentagon wash hands of mysterious Zuma mission

SpaceX, Pentagon wash hands of mysterious Zuma mission

Usually to launch satellites on Falcon 9 SpaceX used the adapters, and fairings of their own production, although official guidance on useful load for the Falcon 9 it is noted that the adapter may be provided by the manufacturer of the satellite.

On Monday, lawmakers were informed that the mission was "a total loss" and the payload plummeted back into the atmosphere when it failed to detach from the rocket, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

However, cameras did not follow stage two of the rocket, and reports suggest Zuma may not have reached its final orbit.

The company says that SpaceX is all set for the maiden flight of its Falcon Heavy.

Company President Gwynne Shotwell said the Falcon 9 rocket "did everything correctly" Sunday night and suggestions otherwise are "categorically false".

An article in Wired said that Northrop Grumman provided the adapter to mate Zuma to the Falcon 9.

Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), who previous flew into space in the 1980s aboard Columbia as a payload specialist, sided with SpaceX, stating, "The first statement by SpaceX was that the failure to achieve orbit was not theirs". The company chose SpaceX as the launch provider, noting late a year ago that it took "great care to ensure the most affordable and lowest risk scenario for Zuma".

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According to the latest ArsTechnica, now in the U.S. Congress to investigate the circumstances of the possible loss of Zuma and the role of interaction between SpaceX and Northrop Grumman.

In 2015, SpaceX was certified by the U.S. Air Force to launch national security satellites.

SpaceX has been rapidly expanding its launch business, which includes NASA, national security and commercial missions. That broke up a longtime and lucrative monopoly held by a joint venture between Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co. known as United Launch Alliance, which has had 100 percent mission success in its 123 launches. The company later said it had cleared the issue.

The Falcon 9 with Zuma kicked off on 8 January 2018 to 04:00 Moscow time from the cosmodrome on Cape Canaveral. If additional reviews uncover any problems, she said, "we will report it immediately". In 2017, SpaceX completed 18 launches.

The company is preparing to launch its new Falcon Heavy rocket, made up of three Falcon 9 engine cores.

SpaceX hasn't said why the static fire test was pushed back. Also, the future flights of SpaceX will remain scheduled as they were.

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