SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Zuma satellite into orbit. Credit: SpaceX
Washington: A US spy satellite that was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a SpaceX rocket on Sunday failed to reach orbit and is assumed to be a total loss, two US officials briefed on the mission said on Monday.
The classified intelligence satellite, built by Northrop Grumman Corp, failed to separate from the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket and is assumed to have broken up or plunged into the sea, said the two officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The satellite is assumed to be “a write-off,” one of the officials said.
The presumed loss of the satellite was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Northrop Grumman built the multibillion-dollar satellite, code-named Zuma, and was responsible for choosing the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle, both officials said.
An investigation is underway, but there is no initial indication of sabotage or other interference, they said.
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.”
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