Rumors Hint Secret Zuma Satellite Is A Total Loss

Yesterday we talked a bit about the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that had successfully put a secret US government satellite called Zuma in orbit. That launch reportedly went off without a hitch. SpaceX was even able to recover the stage 1 rocket with a successful landing at Cape Canaveral.

However, rumors continue to suggest that the Zuma mission itself has possibly failed. These rumors are all the more interesting because we have no idea what Zuma was for or even what government agency was going to operate the satellite. SpaceX has only stated that it doesn't comment on mission of this nature.

Northrop Grumman, the builder of the Zuma spacecraft, hasn't responded to questions about the mission. Rumors stem from unnamed officials cited by the Wall Street Journal and Reuters who claim that the Zuma satellite is presumed to be a total loss.

During the launch, SpaceX cut off the broadcast after confirmation that the rockets nose cone had separated a few minutes after launch. This is reportedly normal procedure when a launch has a payload concerning national security aboard.

SpaceX hasn't confirmed that the mission was a total success, something that United Launch Alliance normally does after a successful classified mission. Strange weather phenomena seen by viewers in some areas were thought to be an indication of something amiss, but those concerns have been quelled. The location of the setting sun made the rocket plume glow like a comet in some areas.

SOURCE: USA Today