There have been a number of rumors surrounding the SpaceX launch. The Falcon 9 launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida last Sunday was carrying the government’s secret Zuma Satellite. The Pentagon is only adding fuel to the fire by refusing to answer even simple questions.
The US media reported that the billion-dollar satellite never made it to orbit and was presumed to have been lost. SpaceX gave a statement on Tuesday that the rocket worked fine but this open-ended statement did not say anything regarding the satellite.
The Pentagon officials refused to provide any information at the press briefing after the launch. They claimed that the information was classified in nature. “I would have to refer you to SpaceX, who conducted the launch,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said. The fellow spokesman General Kenneth McKenzie, on being asked further said, “I’m done. We’re not going to be able to give you any more information.”
The Zuma satellite was made by Northrup Grumman who offered no details except the fact that it was for the US government and would be delivered to low Earth orbit. This is not the first time SpaceX has been known to launch payloads vital to national security but according to officials, it failed to remain in contact after the launch.
The Zuma satellite failed to separate from the second stage of the Falcon 9 and it is rumored that it must have broken off or plunged into the seas according to two officials who wished to remain anonymous. They said that the satellite is assumed to be a “write-off“.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to point out the presumed loss of the satellite. There is an investigation underway but no evidence of any interference or sabotage has been discovered in the initial tests. SpaceX’s president Gwynne Shotwell defended the rocket claiming that the rocket functioned as it was supposed to and if somebody says otherwise, they are wrong.
We all know that the first stage functioned as it was supposed to and lifted the rocket off the pad and landed back at Cape Canaveral, but the second stage s shrouded in mystery due to the classified nature of the mission. The satellite was supposed to separate into the orbit in the second stage but apparently, it never happened and it plunged through the atmosphere and burned up.
Even though we may not know the details right now but they will come out eventually and we will get an official response from the government one of these days. You can watch the launch here: