Science

SpaceX Falcon Heavy lined up for first launch from Kennedy Space Center

SpaceX Falcon Heavy lined up for first launch from Kennedy Space Center

But SpaceX is confident that there is no issue with their Falcon 9 booster and the rocket's upper stage successfully carried the Zuma satellite into space.

"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".

A SpaceX representative told Business Insider, "We do not comment on missions of this nature, but as of right now reviews of the data indicate Falcon 9 performed nominally". "We can not comment on classified missions", Tim Paynter, Vice President for the company, said earlier.

SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell issued a statement this morning reasserting the company's position that its Falcon 9 rocket was not at fault for whatever happened to the Zuma satellite.

"If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately", Shotwell added.

Zuma was built by the defence contractor Northrop Grumman, though it is unknown which United States agency would have been using the satellite.

And that classified label for the Zuma mission means no one is saying much.

Due to the highly classified nature of the payload, however, it's unclear what exactly happened.

The Zuma mission was a clear success on at least one count: SpaceX successfully landed the rocket's first stage for reuse in a future launch, a key step in its goal to drive down the cost of access to space.

Whether the Falcon 9 Zuma mission failed or not, SpaceX is now setting its sights on the Falcon Heavy debut launch.

A top-secret government mission launched by SpaceX, the aerospace company founded by tech mogul Elon Musk, may have failed on Sunday night. "We can not comment on classified programs".

According to a source, the satellite did not reach the designated altitude and instead, fell back down, along with the expended second stage of the SpaceX rocket.

According to an Instagram post in December, Musk said the first payload will be a red Tesla Roadster playing David Bowie's Space Oddity on a billion-year elliptical Mars orbit. SpaceX, along with Boeing Co., also has a contract with Nasa to fly astronauts to the International Space Station as part of the "Commercial Crew" program, with the first crucial test flight slated for the second quarter.

We spoke to a Northrup Grummam rep by phone, who said: "This is a classified mission".

As it usually does for classified launches, Loren Grush reports forThe Verge, SpaceX censored coverage of the launch, cutting its livestream prior to nose cone separation that would reveal the payload. Under mounting pressure from SpaceX, he was sacked, and ULA's new CEO, Tory Bruno, vowed to "literally transform" the company in order to compete with Musk - and he also continued to champion ULA's track record of successful launches.

The company has been preparing to launch its new Falcon Heavy rocket, which is made up of three Falcon 9 engine cores. The company has said it plans to launch about 30 missions in 2018 after completing a record 18 past year.

It has been competing with other private companies to launch more military payloads.


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