On Sunday, it seemed that SpaceX kick-started the New Year with a bang with the successful launch of a secret Zuma mission. But, on Monday, rumors started to flow that the mysterious Zuma mission has failed and the satellite is lost in orbit due to malfunctioning.
Another report claimed that the Zuma satellite actually fell back to earth and got burned up in our Earth’s atmosphere. But, till now neither SpaceX nor Northrop Grumman, the manufacturer of the Zuma satellite has said anything about the success of the mission. Also, neither of the company has come forward to react to the rumors spreading regarding the failure of the mission. So, it remains a mystery whether the secret Zuma mission was a success or a failure.
As per the reports published by Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal many government officials and lawmakers have briefed about Zuma’s demise, although the publications do not fully guarantee about the authenticity of the sources. According to the Verge, one of the sources said that the upper stage of Falcon 9 booster failed while other sources claimed that the space probe did not separate from the rocket. On Monday afternoon, SpaceX spokesman James Gleeson said, We do not comment on missions of this nature, but as of right now, reviews of the data indicate Falcon 9 performed nominally. Again, when aerospace company Northrop Grumman was approached to comment on the rumors of Zuma mission failure, the company’s spokesman Lon Rains said that the Zuma mission is a classified mission and they cannot comment on classified missions. Well, the Zuma mission is actually a classified mission.
No one knows what the secret Zuma mission is all about. Many define it as a national-security mission. The only information regarding the Zuma mission is that it will be deployed into the lower Erath orbit. But what the satellite will do and which government agency is linked with the satellite is still unknown. On Sunday night, the Falcon 9 booster blasted off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, carrying the secret Zuma payload. Previously, SpaceX had launched two national security payloads. In May 2017, it launched the NROL-76 satellite on behalf of the National Reconnaissance Office, and in last September it launched the robotic X-37B spacecraft of the AirForce.