Breaking news – (NEWZ247) Space X launched a classified, multibillion-dollar spy satellite for the U.S. government on Sunday ― and then something went wrong.
Unnamed government officials told Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal that the satellite, built by Northrop Grumman under the code-name “Zuma,” failed to reach orbit and crashed back into the atmosphere.
Due to the highly classified nature of the payload, however, it’s unclear what exactly happened. (We don’t even know which government agency commissioned Zuma in the first place, which is rare.)
SpaceX declined to comment on the particulars, but in a statement to HuffPost was adamant there was no failure on its end. As evidence, here’s the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage returning safely back to Earth, as planned, just under eight minutes after launch:
“For clarity: after review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night,” SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said in a statement emailed to HuffPost.
“If we are find another based on more review, we will report it instantly,” Shotwell added. “Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false. Due to the classified nature of the payload, no further comment is possible.”
Space X noted it has a number of launches and tests scheduled for the next several weeks, which it would have immediately postponed had something gone wrong Sunday.