Test fire of SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket moves to Saturday

Jon Howard
January 14, 2018

Media reports cited anonymous USA government officials familiar with the launch confirming that the Zuma mission failed.

Image the second stage of the Falcon 9 in the skies over Sudan appeared on numerous pictures in the network, which indirectly confirms normal operation of the rocket SpaceX. Since, the launching window is set to open on Jan 30 at 4:23 pm EST (2123 GMT) and continues to 134 minutes. However, SpaceX made a decision to delay the launch to deal with some issues regarding the payload fairing (nose cone). The location and appearance of the sighting matched where the Falcon 9 and Zuma should have been orbiting, based on trackers' pre-flight predictions, and was similar to fuel dumps observed after other launches. The mission was initiated on a Sunday at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station located in Florida.

Northrop Grumman provided the satellite, for which government agency it wouldn't say.

"After review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night", Shotwell said.

Defense giant Northrop Grumman Corp., which built Zuma and procured the launch service from SpaceX, said in a statement Monday: "This is a classified mission".

Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false. As usual with classified government payload missions, the launch's livestream was cut off before the separation of the nose cone and the deployment of the satellite. A day after White's statement, SpaceX president and chief operating officer, Gwynne Shotwell, was asked about Zuma.

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On launch day, safely tucked away in a protective payload fairing will be Musk's 2008 Tesla Roadster, an all-electric sports auto that boosted his energy company during its formative years.

The new rocket gives the Hawthorne space company heavy-lift capability, meaning SpaceX could hoist massive satellites for commercial customers or lucrative national security missions.

In the meantime, Falcon Heavy, like its smaller cousin the Falcon 9, will advance SpaceX's goal of cutting launch costs by reusing rockets.

Harrison, the defense analyst, said that SpaceX is in a frustrating position because it is limited in what it can say publicly about what happened.

On the other hand, Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), was not as lenient on SpaceX.

Usually to launch satellites on Falcon 9 SpaceX used the adapters, and fairings of their own production, although official guidance on useful load for the Falcon 9 it is noted that the adapter may be provided by the manufacturer of the satellite.

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