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The First Rule About Zuma: Don't Talk About Zuma (Update)

By Keith Cowing
January 9, 2018
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The First Rule About Zuma: Don't Talk About Zuma (Update)

Statement From Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX on Zuma 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. “
It’s not official, but sources say the secretive Zuma satellite was lost, Ars Technica
“A media query to Northrop Grumman, which manufactured the satellite, was not immediately returned Monday. (Update: Tim Paynter, Vice President of Strategic Communications for Northrop Grumman, said, “This is a classified mission. We cannot comment on classified missions.”) Actions taken by SpaceX on Monday indicate its confidence in the rocket’s performance during the Zuma launch. Earlier in the day, SpaceX founder Elon Musk shared photos of the nighttime launch on Twitter. Also, the company continued with preparations for future launches, including rolling the Falcon Heavy rocket back out to a different launch pad in Florida for additional tests.”
SpaceX’S top Secret Zuma Mission Set To Launch, Wired
“Veteran aerospace manufacturer Northrop Grumman built the payload, according to a document obtained by WIRED and later confirmed by the company. The company says it built Zuma for the US government, and it’s also providing an adapter to mate Zuma with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.”
Highly classified US spy satellite appears to be a total loss after SpaceX launch, CNBC
“Dow Jones reported Monday evening that lawmakers had been briefed about the apparent destruction of the secretive payload — code-named Zuma — citing industry and government officials. The payload was suspected to have burned up in the atmosphere after failing to separate perfectly from the upper part of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the report said.”
Keith’s note: No one is going to go on the record about anything Zuma did – or did not do. So its probably up to those folks who scan the skies for every object launched into – or returning from – space. They know where Zuma is “supposed” to be …

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.