AuthorTopic: Did SpaceX just lose a secret U.S. spy satellite?  (Read 489 times)

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Did SpaceX just lose a secret U.S. spy satellite?
« on: January 10, 2018, 04:15:51 AM »
How many more EPIC FAILURES before Wall Street stops handing this moron more funny money to burn up?  ???  :icon_scratch:

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https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/innovation/did-spacex-just-lose-secret-u-s-spy-satellite-n836081

Did SpaceX just lose a secret U.S. spy satellite?


by Ben Popken and David Freeman

The loss of a classified, multi-billion-dollar government spy satellite is fast becoming a public black eye for private space transport and a whodunit mystery for industry watchers.

SpaceX said its Falcon 9 rocket, launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, performed flawlessly. Northrup Grumman, the aerospace contractor that hired SpaceX to sling its "Zuma" satellite into orbit, says it's "classified." A government official says the mission is a "write-off."

In a statement Tuesday morning, SpaceX president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwel said, "After review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night."

"If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately," she said. "Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false."
[From the Cold War to hurricanes: The evolution of space satellites]
From the Cold War to hurricanes: The evolution of space satellites 2:54

Northrop Grumman declined to comment. "This is a classified mission," a spokesperson told NBC News. "We cannot comment on classified missions."

Reuters reported that an investigation into what went wrong is underway.

Ultimately, though, the manufacturer of the satellite assumes responsibility, industry experts say.

"It's standard that the satellite provider is required to insure it. It falls more on Northrup," Jim Cantrell, an early SpaceX employee who is now the CEO of Vector, a micro satellite launch startup, told NBC News.

The satellite launched Jan. 7 on the back of a rocket launched by SpaceX, the private space exploration company formed by entrepreneur Elon Musk. Government and industry officials have said that the payload failed to separate from the second stage of the rocket and plunged back into the atmosphere.

The failure comes at a sensitive time for SpaceX, which has recently been trying to establish itself as a low-cost launcher for Pentagon missions. Both SpaceX and Northrup are casting blame on each other, Ars Technica reported, citing a source familiar with discussions on Capitol Hill.

“There’s no reason to think that anyone has been dealt a body blow because of the loss of one mission,” Peter de Selding, editor of Space Intel Report, told NBC News. In all likelihood, he said, the satellite’s manufacturer will be fully paid for its work even if it’s to blame for the satellite’s apparent loss. If it turns out that a glitch with SpaceX’s rocket is responsible for the apparent loss, SpaceX’s busy launch schedule for 2018 could face disruption — with possible loss of revenues.

SpaceX said the Zuma mission’s apparent failure wouldn’t affect the company’s upcoming launches, including a much-anticipated inaugural demonstration flight of the massive new Falcon Heavy rocket later this month.

“Since the data reviewed so far indicates that no design, operational or other changes are needed, we do not anticipate any impact on the upcoming launch schedule,” Shotwell said in the statement.

The high-profile error is an embarrassment for the effort. But SpaceX is so cheap relative to its competitors that the scrubbing is unlikely to derail the relationship.

"When it's hundreds of millions of dollars versus something that's $60,000 to $90,000, it's hard to justify the taxpayer dollars," said Cantrell.

If anything, the solution is to send up more rockets, more frequently. And that means following the SpaceX model.

"The reason why air travel is so reliable is because we fly thousands of airliners every day," Robert Zubrin, rocket scientist and founder of the nonprofit Mars Society, told NBC News in an email.

"Right now, the average rate of spaceflight is about 1 launch every 4 days. Back when airplanes flew at that frequency, they crashed all the time. If we want to make space travel as safe as air travel, we need to make it much cheaper."
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Offline Surly1

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Re: Did SpaceX just lose a secret U.S. spy satellite?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 04:24:35 AM »
How many more EPIC FAILURES before Wall Street stops handing this moron more funny money to burn up?  ???  :icon_scratch:
RE

We "can't afford" to tax ourselves to have NASA do it. We have to rely on the "invisible hand" of the glorious free market to bring "market efficiencies" to launching satellites and space travel.

Like most things, this will go on until it can't.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Re: Did SpaceX just lose a secret U.S. spy satellite?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 04:30:54 AM »
Like most things, this will go on until it can't.

Indeed, but I am astounded how long this has gone on already.  The guy has never made a dime of profit on any of his projects..WTF do they keep funding him? ???  :icon_scratch:

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Re: Did SpaceX just lose a secret U.S. spy satellite?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2018, 04:48:43 AM »
Like most things, this will go on until it can't.

Indeed, but I am astounded how long this has gone on already.  The guy has never made a dime of profit on any of his projects..WTF do they keep funding him? ???  :icon_scratch:

RE

Because all the contractors keep getting paid. Northrup Grumman gets to build the "Zuma" satellite payload again. And here is the money shot from the OP:

Quote
A government official says the mission is a "write-off."
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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What Happened to Zuma Satellite After SpaceX Launch?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 03:01:55 AM »
http://www.techtimes.com/articles/218451/20180110/what-happened-to-zuma-satellite-after-spacex-launch.htm

What Happened to Zuma Satellite After SpaceX Launch?

10 January 2018, 9:24 pm EST By Maui Hermitanio Tech Times
[DELETE] SpaceX Unveils Falcon 9 Heavy Rocket Before Mysterious Zuma Mission
SpaceX said suggestions that the spy satellite Zuma has been lost are categorically false. Future launches will proceed as scheduled, including the much-anticipated maiden flight of Falcon Heavy.   ( Pixabay )

The Zuma mission satellite is not lost or missing in action according to Space Exploration Technologies Corp. or SpaceX. The company defended the performance of the Falcon 9 in response to media reports that the mission was a failure and that the spy satellite it launched fell into the ocean.

The satellite launch initiated by SpaceX on January 7 was the company's third classified mission for the United States government. After several delays, the Zuma took off from the Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida last Sunday.

The two-hour primary launch was livestreamed on the internet. As usual with classified government payload missions, the launch's livestream was cut off before the separation of the nose cone and the deployment of the satellite.

Amid speculations of a failed mission, SpaceX announced that the Falcon 9 performed properly but did not announce a successful launch nor made further comments whether the payload has reached its destination.
What Really Happened After The Launch?

After the Sunday launch, there have been uncertainties surrounding Zuma, further fueling speculations that the mission either had a problem or failed and the spacecraft has been lost in space.

Media reports cited anonymous U.S. government officials familiar with the launch confirming that the Zuma mission failed. The second stage booster section of the Falcon 9 reportedly failed and the satellite and the rocket's second stage plummeted into the Indian Ocean after it was launched into orbit.

However, SpaceX issued a statement clarifying what had transpired during the launch.

"For clarity: after review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night. If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately. Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false. Due to the classified nature of the payload, no further comment is possible," says SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell.

In May 2017, SpaceX managed to recover the first stage of a rocket that it used to launch a classified U.S. reconnaissance satellite.
All Scheduled Launches To Proceed

While experts believe that a setback of the Zuma mission could be a real threat to the future of Elon Musk's space technology business, SpaceX said its future launches would go on as scheduled, including the much-anticipated launch and maiden flight of Falcon Heavy.

"Since the data reviewed so far indicates that no design, operational or other changes are needed, we do not anticipate any impact on the upcoming launch schedule," added Shotwell.
Strange Sky Spiral Images Believed To Be The Missing Zuma

Meanwhile, the internet is speculating that the photo of an ethereal spiral in the night sky taken by Dutch pilot Peter Horstink might be the missing upper part of the Falcon 9 rocket.

Horstink captured the image of what appears to be a greenish and blue spiral from his aircraft as he flew 35,000 feet above the Earth's surface over Khartoum City in Sudan. The photo was shared on Twitter by satellite tracker Marco Langbroek.

The maker of the billion-dollar Zuma spy satellite, defense contractor Northrop Grumman, refused to comment on the plight of its missing satellite.
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Re: What Happened to Zuma Satellite After SpaceX Launch?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 03:17:31 AM »

The maker of the billion-dollar Zuma spy satellite, defense contractor Northrop Grumman, refused to comment on the plight of its missing satellite.

"What satellite?"

--Northrop's PR office
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

 

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