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SpaceX launches secretive Zuma mission

12 January 2018

SpaceX defended its rocket performance during the weekend launch of a secret US satellite, responding Tuesday to media reports that the satellite codenamed Zuma was lost.

SpaceX hasn't said why the static fire test was pushed back. However, the agency confirmed that the Falcon 9 performed as it was supposed to after going through the data review of the mission.

"If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately", she said. 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. "Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false". SpaceX was originally set to launch the Zuma mission in November, but the company tweeted at the time that it was postponing the mission "to take a closer look at data from recent fairing testing for another customer".

As for Northrop Grumman, the manufacturer of the Zuma satellite, it simply added "we can not comment on classified missions".

Results from the firing will be analyzed ahead of Falcon Heavy's demonstration flight around the "end of the month", according to CEO Elon Musk. The spokesman for the corporation said that the company isn't at liberty to comment on a classified mission.

All eyes will turn to the first launch, in late January, of SpaceX's, which would become the most powerful operational rocket in the world, carrying twice as much as its nearest competitor, the Delta IV Heavy.

Elon Musk has announced that the first flight of his company's "Falcon Heavy" rocket will carry a Tesla Roadster - touted as the quickest vehicle in the world with record-setting acceleration, range and performance - into Martian orbit. The company chose SpaceX as the launch provider, noting late a year ago that it took "great care to ensure the most affordable and lowest risk scenario for Zuma".

SpaceX launches secretive Zuma mission