SpaceX says rocket performed OK in secret satellite launch
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX is defending its rocket performance during Sunday night’s launch of a secret U.S. satellite, responding to media reports that the satellite codenamed Zuma was lost.
SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell says the Falcon 9 rocket “did everything correctly” and suggestions otherwise are “categorically false.”
Northrop Grumman — which provided the satellite for an undisclosed U.S. government entity — says it cannot comment on classified missions.
The rocket’s first stage completed its job and landed back at Cape Canaveral following liftoff. But no second-stage information was provided because of all the secrecy surrounding the flight.
The Wall Street Journal quotes unidentified congressional officials as saying the satellite apparently did not separate from the rocket’s upper second stage, and plunged through the atmosphere and burned up.