Some more thoughts on the comms: Look, I get the motivations: SpaceX felt the need to quickly, even before any advanced research into it could be made, state that their part worked 100%. This is the very Tesla-like need to go public with full denials as fast as possible, no room for "we'll look into it and get back to you". I get that they have that culture. It just became muddied in this case because of the second need to still somehow acknowledge further research into this will be made (not just by them by also by others) and they needed to hedge against that. BUT then really, really again drive home the point that full denial is the word of the day. So all this desire resulted in a rather muddy statement, especially when it had to be limited in scope by confidentiality concerns. So I get how it came about. And I find it absolutely likely the SpaceX launch worked OK and that a third-party adapter failed once on orbit. All perfectly plausible. That said, personally I'm not necessarily sure this comms culture is the wisest culture (either by SpaceX or by Tesla), because it does make it seem like they'd deny anything and without sufficient time to really look into it - similar to how Tesla denies any responsibility in any public Tesla incident very quickly and comes out all guns blazing in support of that denial. Recently Tesla even denied their Roadster prototype broke down, when it was photographed stopped in the middle of the road with chocks on and rollers at the ready. (And I get it, perhaps "broke down" could be wrong by some dictionary definition, but again it just makes it look like they will deny anything and never admit to anything.) A bit more paced, wiser approach to PR might result in it being far more believable to a wider audience. IMO, from PR handling perspective, they're both just seem a bit too quick and bit too total in their denials in such cases. Some of that denial may thus be counter-productive and against their desired end-result. I do wonder if it didn't seem just a tad bit more believable if they took even just a bit of time to be comprehensive about it? If you get the reputation of always denying everything to the hilt, it is bound to leave more room for those who doubt you. Instead of: "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." How would something like this have looked: "From our initial reading of the telemetry, Falcon 9 worked correctly on this flight. As always, we're going to carefully review all the data and get back to you double checked findings, within the confidentiality limitations of the classified payload of course. But at this time the initial data does not support any of the suggestions that Falcon 9 didn't work as intended, so such claims seem to be categorically false. Any subsequent failure seems to have been after SpaceX's and Falcon 9's part of the mission had completed successfully. But, again, just to be very comprehensive about this, we will - and others will - check and double check and we'll get back to you of course."