Mystery is surrounding Space X and sadly, it is for all of the wrong reasons. Before this blunder is analyzed in depth, however, it is always prudent to recall the past. When North Korea “failed” in a satellite launch, some observed that it may have been reported as a loss, but could have really been a masked test. Likewise, the U.S. government may be playing their hand close to their chest and saying that Space X has failed when that may not be entirely true.
That said, yesterday Reuters ran with the headline “U.S. spy satellite believed destroyed after failing to reach orbit: officials.” Many skywatchers were more than mildly irate that Elon Mush and Space X was hiding their deployment of the U.S. technology to begin with. It was said that the spy satellite (at least the government admitted what it was) “failed to reach orbit and is assumed to be a total loss, two U.S. officials briefed on the mission said on Monday.”
It could be in the best interest of Uncle Sam for everyone to think that. However, this is merely conjectured as the questions regarding the apparent mishap are swirling.
So did this device meet its end by falling into the sea, as suspected? No one knows because, as the Daily Star has noted, “the live feed was cut as the satellite was to be deployed.” They have reported that there was a “secret payload” to be hidden. The Star quoted Lon Rains, Northrop Grumman’s communications director, who said, “The Zuma payload is a restricted payload. It will be launched into low Earth Orbit.”
Lastly, Newsweek has written that “cameras did not follow stage two of the rocket, and reports suggest Zuma may not have reached its final orbit.”
Even the Wall Street Journal has chimed in and said that industry and “government officials believe the craft failed.”
It is known that the launch had already been delayed for 9 months, and considering the state of the world over that time, it is clear why the timeline may have been pushed ahead before ready. Getting eyes in the sky as everyone from North Korea to Russia is acting aggressively is something that the government would clearly need to do to best of ability, quickly.
However, that too is merely assumption because so few facts are known about the details of this endeavor. There is really no way to confirm the accuracy of anything as it stands now.
It is assumed that we are being told the whole truth and that the mission was a failure.
Then again, for some, until proof is seen, there are going to be questions about anything that is said to a “secret payload.”