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The satellite, named Zuma, was built by Northrop Grumman Corp. and reportedly cost billions. Officials told Reuters that the satellite is a total loss, likely to have broken apart or crashed into the sea. SpaceX, however, says its own equipment didn’t fail.
SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwellafter issued a statement Tuesday saying “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.”
Northrop Grumman has declined to comment on the launch. So, details of the mission remain murky and likely won’t be cleared up until the mission is declassified.
Zuma was SpaceX’s first mission of 2018. You can watch SpaceX’s webcast of the mission here.