SpaceX's "customer" is saying that the company's latest launch failure isn't SpaceX's fault.
Of course it wasn’t Elon’s fault - nothing ever is.
Less than a week after SpaceX’s failure to launch the mysterious Zuma satellite into orbit - the payload, which presumably cost hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars to develop, failed to separate properly from the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that was carrying it - a major customer of SpaceX, Musk’s space-oriented venture that has essentially become a successor to NASA, defended the company, speculated that the blame for the failure lay not with Musk, but with the hacks over at longtime defense contractor Northrop Grumman.
A major SpaceX customer spoke up for Elon Musk’s rocket company, pinning the blame for a secret military satellite’s disappearance on defense company Northrop Grumman Corp.
Matt Desch, chief executive officer of satellite operator Iridium Communications Inc., said that as the launch contractor, Northrop Grumman deserves the blame for the loss last weekend of the satellite, which is presumed to have crashed into the ocean in the secretive mission code-named Zuma.
“This is a typical industry smear job on the ‘upstart’ trying to disrupt the launch industry,” Desch said on Twitter Thursday in response to a news article. "SpaceX didn’t have a failure, Northrop Grumman did. Notice that no one in the media is interested in that story. SpaceX will pay the price as the one some will try to bring low."
As we reported ahead of the launch, which was repeatedly delayed with only a vague explanation, many of the details about Zuma’s provenance and purpose remain a mystery. The job the satellite was intended to perform and even the identity of the US agency that contracted the satellite aren’t known.
News of the launch failure didn’t surface until days later, when the WSJ reported it, though the paper admits that the paucity of details surrounding what happened means there could be alternative explanations to the “failure to separate” narrative mentioned above. But given Musk's penchant for spin, this hardly registers as suspicious or surprising.
BREAKING: SpaceX Responds To Downed Satellite Claims!
SpaceX has claimed that their rocket functioned as planned. Some have speculated that if the satellite failed, that Northrup Grumman was the responsible party, not SpaceX.
Following the launch of the secretive Zuma satellite into space aboard SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral, reports circulated that the new eye in the sky, which is worth billions, "is presumed to be a total loss after it failed to reach orbit."
Of course, this, one would think, is a serious blow to Elon Musk's ambitions, since government contracts can tend to be extremely lucrative and taxpayers will now demand alternatives to the Musk venture. Further, the company faces fierce competition for ULA, operated by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, who will kick off its 2018 launch schedule with a Wednesday flight.
But the mystery around the launch and the payload continues, as in an emailed statement, company President and COO Gwynne Shotwell, said that the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Sunday "did everything correctly."
“For clarity: after review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night. If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately. Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false.
"Due to the classified nature of the payload, no further comment is possible.
“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. Falcon Heavy has been rolled out to launchpad LC-39A for a static fire later this week, to be followed shortly thereafter by its maiden flight. We are also preparing for an F9 launch for SES and the Luxembourg Government from SLC-40 in three weeks.”
Which is odd since Bloomberg reports that the second-stage booster section of the Falcon 9 failed, said a U.S. official and two congressional aides familiar with the launch, who asked not to be named because the matter is private. The satellite was lost, one of the aides said, and the other said both the satellite and second-stage rocket fell into the ocean.
Additionally, Tim Paynter, a spokesman for Northrop Grumman Corp., which was commissioned by the Defense Department to choose the launch contractor, said “we cannot comment on classified missions.”
Army Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Davis, the Pentagon spokesman for space policy, referred questions to SpaceX.
As we concluded previously, the failure comes at a very sensitive time for SpaceX: Musk’s closely held company has projected ramping up its overall launch rate to more than 25 missions in 2018, from 18 in 2017, and is scheduled to start ferrying U.S. astronauts to the international space station before the end of the year.
Read more: (Link: www.zerohedge.com)
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This was also posted about 10 days ago.
SpaceX Just Wasted a Spy Satellite!
SpaceX launched a rocket with a mystery payload, that no one was sure what it was carrying.
Reports are now saying that the mystery load was a classified spy satellite, and it may have all been for nothing.
cbsnews.com reports: A classified satellite code-named Zuma, launched Sunday night atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, may have suffered a mission-ending failure during or shortly after the climb to space, according to news accounts Monday evening.
Kicking off a busy year for SpaceX, the Falcon 9 blasted off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 8 p.m. EST (GMT-5) Sunday, putting on a spectacular show as it streaked away on a northeasterly trajectory.
Because the payload was classified, SpaceX commentators revealed nothing about the satellite, which government agency owns it or when it was expected to be released from the Falcon 9's second stage. No details about its intended orbit -- or its purpose -- were revealed.
SpaceX mission commentary covered the initial minutes of the launch, ignition of the rocket's second stage, jettison of a protective payload fairing and landing of the first stage back at the Air Force station. But in keeping with plans announced before launch, the company did not discuss any aspects of the payload or its intended orbit.
That is standard procedure for classified missions. But in the wake of most such missions, the responsible agency -- usually the Air Force -- releases a post-launch statement several hours later to indicate the overall result. Reporters expected a statement of some sort from Zuma's builder, Northrop Grumman, but the company said nothing Sunday night.
Read more @ (Link: www.cbsnews.com)
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This was also posted about 24 days ago.
BREAKING: North Korea Preparing "Satellite" Launch!
North Korea is allegedly preparing a satellite launch, which many believe is just a cover for a ballistic missile test.
From The Daily Mail:
North Korea is preparing to launch a satellite, it has been claimed, as outside observers warn that the nuclear-armed regime's space programme is likely to be a cover up for more for weapons tests.
Pyongyang is under multiple UN sanctions over its nuclear and missile tests and is prohibited from carrying out any launch using ballistic missile technology including satellites.
But South Korean daily newspaper Joongang Ilbo reported: 'Through various channels, we've recently learned that the North has completed a new satellite and named it Kwangmyongsong-5.
'Their plan is to put a satellite equipped with cameras and telecommunication devices into orbit.'
Kim Jong-un launched the country's Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite in February 2016, which most in the international community viewed as a disguised ballistic missile test.
A spokesman for the South Korean military joint chiefs of staff said there was 'nothing out of ordinary at this moment' but added that Seoul was watching out for any provocative acts 'including the test of a long-range missile disguised as a satellite launch'.
The report came as the North's ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun reasserted the regime's right to launch satellites and develop its space technology.
Read more: (Link: www.dailymail.co.uk)
Stay tuned for updates!