Iridium sticks up for SpaceX, blames Northrop in satellite loss

Iridium sticks up for SpaceX, blames Northrop in satellite loss

Iridium sticks up for SpaceX, blames Northrop in satellite loss

SpaceX announced that the launch of the Falcon 9 was in normal mode and the company adheres to a previously agreed schedule launches, in particular in January will be held the first launch of the Falcon heavy Heavу and Falcon 9 launch with telecommunications satellites in the interests of operator SES S. A. "If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately". Later, the team will closed the satellite up inside the payload fairing of Falcon 9.

The company did not respond to additional requests for comment Tuesday.

A spokesman for Northrop Grumman Corp., which built the satellite, said Monday: "This is a classified mission".

If Zuma did indeed fail, it's possible the payload adapter Northrop Grumman built to deploy the satellite from the rocket itself malfunctioned.

SpaceX's resolve and relentless drive was unchanged by the mystery surrounding Zuma (which included the possibility that nothing went wrong, and the satellite was, indeed, on orbit).

SpaceX denied providing any comment related to the mission as it contained confidential information.

"We have made a decision to stand down and take a closer look at data from recent fairing testing for another customer", said SpaceX communications director John Taylor at the time.

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Falcon Heavy launches start at $90 million, compared to the starting price of $62 million for the smaller Falcon 9, according to SpaceX's website. "Though we have preserved the range opportunity for tomorrow, we will take the time we need to complete the data review and will then confirm a new launch date". 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. A spokesperson for the huge defense contractor declined to comment on Zuma after Sunday night's launch.

"If we're talking about expanding exploration, it will be good to have more capabilities", said Olga Bannova, research associate professor and director of the space architecture graduate program at the University of Houston's college of engineering.

Reporters Sunday night expected confirmation from Northrop Grumman after officials confirmed the Zuma payload's successful launch, but the announcement never came.

She said the Falcon Heavy is still scheduled for a static fire test this week and that the company is also preparing for a Falcon 9 launch of a commercial communications satellite in three weeks.

The NRO and military agencies typically acknowledge their ownership of clandestine satellites, even if details about their missions remain under a shroud of secrecy. The mechanism, according to some of these officials, was supplied by Northrop Grumman instead of SpaceX.

Reports claim it plummeted into the ocean shortly after the launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Sunday.

On the heels of the Falcon Heavy and Falcon 9/GovSat 1 missions later this month, SpaceX plans at least two launches in February for two Spanish customers.

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