Pentagon mum on fate of secret satellite

SpaceX launches secretive Zuma spacecraft

Instead, it plunged back into the atmosphere, according to the Journal. Apart from that, Bloomberg also reported that the second stage process involving the booster failed to progress in a proper way which caused both the Zuma satellite and Falcon 9 rocket's second stage to fall back into the closest ocean.

Workers at the center have been told to expect a 12-second test-firing of the rocket's 27 engines. SpaceX said it would not comment beyond its statement.

U.S. media this week reported that the billion-dollar payload did not make it into orbit and was presumed to have been lost.

However, it appears that Zuma did not make it into orbit. Rumors associated with the same stated that the mission lost control during the second stage of separation from the rocket and fell back into the Earth. However, the positive presence of the satellite in the orbit can not be confirmed.

The secret satellite, called Zuma, was built for the US government, although it is unclear which part of it.

After launch, SpaceX returned the tall portion of the Falcon 9 rocket to an upright landing at Cape Canaveral. However, the agency confirmed that the Falcon 9 performed as it was supposed to after going through the data review of the mission. Rep. Mike Rogers, who leads the House Armed Services Strategic Forces subcommittee, added rather bluntly that "space is a risky business", but that his committee will continue to provide oversight for future missions tasked with protecting national security.

The mystery surrounding the fate of a secret military satellite deepened Thursday when the Pentagon refused to answer even simple questions about whether the mission to launch it had gone awry. That broke up a longtime and lucrative monopoly held by a joint venture between Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co. known as United Launch Alliance, which has had 100 percent mission success in its 123 launches.

The Falcon 9 with Zuma kicked off on 8 January 2018 to 04:00 Moscow time from the cosmodrome on Cape Canaveral.

"I think the rocket itself is considered an extremely reliable vehicle", he said.

On its website, SpaceX says it has more than 70 upcoming missions on its launch manifest that represent more than $10 billion in contracts. Last year, SpaceX completed 18 launches. If additional reviews uncover any problems, she said, "we will report it immediately".

Yet SpaceX seems confident that it played its part in the Zuma mission well, and the company does not foresee this mission disrupting its schedule.