Speculation is growing that the top secret Zuma satellite launched by SpaceX in Sunday may have been destroyed.
SpaceX may have just lost a top secret satellite known as “Zuma,” a big blow to the Elon Musk company as it continues to ramp up rocket launches. Zuma was part of a classified mission that could have bene involved in anything from spying to tracking missile launches, and no government agencies has been identified as its official sponsor.
SpaceX launched the vehicle last Sunday, but the company cut its webcast short to hide details of where it was headed or even its appearance. But now another mystery has emerged, with reports surfacing that there had been some kind of failure with Zuma, prompting SpaceX to deny that anything wrong had happened and that the Falcon 9 rocket performed as designed.
But SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell issued a statement clarifying this claim, saying that while Falcon 9 did everything correctly at launch, “if we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it.” Now, speculation is running rampant that disaster has befallen Zuma.
It could be a major problem for SpaceX, which recently won the right to conduct national security launches. The Pentagon reluctantly approved SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket for such missions, and this failure could cause officials to reassess whether the company is suitable for such missions. And with NASA depending on flying astronuats to the International Space Station at some point in the future, this alleged disaster would not help their reputation.