When Space X reported that they had misplaced a billion dollar plus satellite that was paid for by the government, to some in the media, the facts just did not add up. There was not enough anger from lawmakers, not enough condemnation from the public, and there was a severe lack of apologizing scientists. This led the author this story to suggest that there was more to this story that we were being told, as the Conservative Daily Post published.
Today, vindication arrives as the Washington Examiner shows that it is not only one writer asking these questions. They ask “Where is Zuma? What is Zuma? What went wrong with Zuma?” as the “Pentagon is not saying anything about the fate of the military payload.”
This certainly is not the answer that would come if it had failed. When a conversion error from standard to metric crashed a launch in the past, explanations were flying in all directions. That simply is not happening here.
“I would have to refer you to SpaceX, who conducted the launch,” said Dana White, chief Pentagon spokesperson. This statement comes “four days after the satellite did or did not go into orbit” or simply fell into the ocean. Thanks to the tight lips of our leaders (perhaps with good reason), we simply don’t know what happened.
“I’m sorry. This is a billion-dollar satellite. It’s been four days. Was it a success or a failure?” asked Bloomberg reporter, Tony Capaccio, with boldness. “And what’s the fate of the satellite?”
Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, director of operations for the Joint Staff lost all remnants of his poker face and replied “I’m done. We’re not going to be able to give you any more information.” While it is just conjecture, this would imply that there is a lot more to this story than we may ever know.
“I’m asking you, from an accountability standpoint, this thing went bump in the night somewhere, and nobody knows what happened to it?” continued Capaccio, refusing to be hushed. “You’re the government, you paid for it, you’re the overseers, and you’re asking us to go to the company who might have been partially responsible for the problem?.”
White then said, “I understand, and given the classified nature of all this … that’s the answer.”
BINGO! Suspicions confirmed. Now, we are all left to wonder: did it crash into the sea and the government wants to find it before others do, did it make orbit and the government simply want that fact silenced, or was it not even a satellite in the way that we think of it? Was a weapon of some kind?
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 9, 2018
No one has any idea.
Adding to the confusion, Space X is not about to have their good name tarnished over this. They confirm that their Falcon 9 rocket “did everything correctly,” but will not give details about anything, including possible payloads. The Northrop Grumman built the device and “the decoupler as well.”
It is clear that the Pentagon at least feels that there is a reason to keep this quiet. It may be a legitimate reason, too. Still, since taxpayers dollars paid for this, the questions being asked are more than justified.