HAWTHORNE (CBSLA/AP) — SpaceX is defending the performance of one of its rockets after it had been reported that the spacecraft, Zuma, was lost after failing to reach orbit during a secret mission on Sunday.
The Zuma spacecraft was meant to launch into orbit from Cape Canaveral, Fla. aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.
The Falcon’s first stage completed its job, lifting the rocket off the pad and toward space, then separating and landing back at Cape Canaveral.
However, The Wall Street Journal quotes unidentified congressional officials who were briefed on the classified mission as saying the satellite apparently did not separate from the second stage, and plunged through the atmosphere and burned up.
President and COO of SpaceX Gwynne Shotwell released a statement on Tuesday saying, “after review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night.”
Shotwell went on to say that any information or suggestion contrary to her statement is “categorically false.”
Zuma, which was originally scheduled to launch in November, was delayed by potential concern about another mission’s payload fairing.
Regarding future missions and launches, Shotwell said, “since the data reviewed so far indicates that no design, operational or other changes are needed, we do not anticipate any impact on the upcoming launch schedule.”
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