Monday, 22 January, 2018

A Highly Classified Spy Satellite Has Been Destroyed. Probably

9 rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral Jan. 7 2018. The rocket is carrying a classified payload for the US Government SpaceXA SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral Jan. 7 2018. The rocket is carrying a classified payload for the US Government
Theresa Hayes | 10 January, 2018, 05:36

An unidentified government official told ABC News that the spacecraft landed in the Indian Ocean. SpaceX has also declined to give details about the spacecraft. "We can not discuss classified programs".

But the spacecraft apparently did not separate as it was supposed to from the upper stage of the rocket and did not reach a stable orbit, according to a USA administration official and two sources who were briefed on the matter.

However, The Wall Street Journal cited industry and government officials as saying that politicians on Capitol Hill had been briefed on the mission's failure and that the secret payload had failed to detach from the Falcon 9.

A pair of spectacular images of an ethereal spiral in the night sky may show the upper stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket after it launched a secret satellite for the USA government on Sunday night (Jan. 7). If additional reviews uncover any problems, she said, "we will report it immediately". Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false.

"We do not comment on missions of this nature; but as of right now reviews of the data indicate Falcon 9 performed nominally", the statement added.

The Zuma indent won't impact the schedule of SpaceX's upcoming launches, including the maiden flight of Falcon Heavy, the company said.

However, rumors continue to suggest that the Zuma mission itself has possibly failed.

Some imagined that there was a more sinister narrative behind the incident.

Northrop Grumman - which provided the satellite for an undisclosed USA government entity - said it can not comment on classified missions.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral, Jan. 7, 2018.

Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in MA, said the fault may lie with Northrop Grumman Corp., which built the satellite and the adapter that connected it to the launcher. SpaceX founder Elon Musk even tweeted about it, dropping a super-sweet photo of the launch.

He noted that USA military's Joint Space Operations Center, which tracks objects in space, did catalog an object designated "payload", meaning that something completed at least one orbit.

Originally scheduled for a November launch, Zuma was delayed by potential concern about another mission's payload fairing, the shell on top that protects a satellite during launch. Eastern time from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Eight minutes later, the rocket's first stage flew back to Cape Canaveral for a landing. Publicly, the fate of the mysterious satellite remains unknown.

While conspiracy-minded individuals have been quick to note a spy satellite suddenly disappearing seems perfectly in line with what a spy satellite might be created to do, McDowell says that's unlikely.

"I think we'll continue to know more data as the government and its providers are allowed to (release it), but it might take some time for an investigation or for congressional interest to reach fever pitch", Larson said.