SpaceX postpones 'static test' fire of Falcon Heavy engines

SpaceX denies losing spy satellite

SpaceX president confirms successful launch of government spy satellite Zuma

Company President Gwynne Shotwell said the Falcon 9 rocket "did everything correctly" Sunday night and suggestions otherwise are "categorically false".

The media did credit the source of information to an anonymous United States government official confirming the failure of the mission.

The mission was initiated on a Sunday at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station located in Florida.

The Wall Street Journal quotes unidentified congressional officials who were briefed on the mission as saying the satellite apparently did not separate from the second stage, and plunged through the atmosphere and burned up.

SpaceX did not report any problems with the launch; however, while the company usually announces a successful launch regardless of the classification of the payload, no confirmation was given by SpaceX or Northrup Grumman, the company that manufactured the secret satellite. This could have resulted in the satellite tumbling back to Earth.

As for Northrop Grumman, the manufacturer of the Zuma satellite, it simply added "we can not comment on classified missions". This points out to the fact that the satellite made it to the orbit and made at least one round of the orbit.

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With SpaceX on the verge of launching the Falcon Heavy, the most powerful rocket ever made by a private company (see page 24), it is worth taking a step back to reflect on how Elon Musk's brainchild has changed the industry.Since its inception in 2002, Musk has made a habit of setting lofty goals and achieving them, confounding skeptics.

Originally planned to launch back in November, Zuma had a secret payload for the USA government. The company chose SpaceX as the launch provider, noting late a year ago that it took "great care to ensure the most affordable and lowest risk scenario for Zuma".

SpaceX has been rapidly expanding its launch business, which includes NASA, national security and commercial missions. The company has said it plans about 30 missions in 2018 after completing a record 18 past year. "We are also preparing for an F9 launch for SES and the Luxembourg Government from SLC-40 in three weeks".

Northrup Grumman, the maker of the payload, said it was for the USA government and would be delivered to low-Earth orbit, but offered no other details.

SpaceX hasn't said why the static fire test was pushed back. As planned, the main engine was cut around two and a half minutes into the launch, and the Falcon 9 split into stage one and stage two.

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