SpaceX launches secretive Zuma mission

SpaceX and Boeing Co. are partners in Nasa’s commercial crew program which aims to revive human spaceflights from Nelson’s state

SpaceX and Boeing Co. are partners in Nasa’s commercial crew program which aims to revive human spaceflights from Nelson’s state

It had been described as an "expensive, highly classified USA spy satellite".

Space Exploration Technologies Corp, led by entrepreneur Elon Musk, launched its first satellite for the U.S. military with its Falcon 9 rocket in May of previous year.

What makes things tricky is the fact that the satellite failed to achieve orbit, reportedly burning up in the earth's atmosphere. But Shotwell reiterated in a statement Tuesday morning that "after review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night".

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The president then issued another tweet in which he appeared to endorse reauthorizing the program despite his complaints. It spooked some Republicans and it led to a phone call between the president and House Speaker Paul Ryan .

SpaceX spokesman James Gleeson said: "We do not comment on missions of this nature; but as of right now reviews of the data indicate Falcon 9 performed nominally". If additional reviews uncover any problems, she said, "we will report it immediately".

However, these rumors about mission failure were recently cleared out by Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX President who negated the reports stating that the classified Zuma satellite was successfully planted in the Earth's lower orbit after its launch. "Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false".

"We do know that aerospace and defense company Northrop Grumman procured Zuma's launch atop a Falcon 9 for the USA government - but we don't know which agency will operate the satellite, or if its mission is civilian or military".

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Results from the firing will be analyzed ahead of Falcon Heavy's demonstration flight around the "end of the month", according to CEO Elon Musk.

Yet SpaceX seems confident that it played its part in the Zuma mission well, and the company does not foresee this mission disrupting its schedule.

All eyes will turn to the first launch, in late January, of SpaceX's, which would become the most powerful operational rocket in the world, carrying twice as much as its nearest competitor, the Delta IV Heavy. This year, it's aiming for more. The company later said it had cleared the issue.

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Ted Poe, R-Texas, said Thursday morning on the House floor. "And we're supposed to make those decisions to keep our country safe". While they never questioned the outcome Thursday, some Republicans were frustrated by the mixed messages from the White House.

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