U.S. spy satellite appears lost after SpaceX launch: Report

Washington: A highly classified U.S. spy satellite Zuma that was launched aboard a SpaceX rocket on Sunday reportedly failed to reach orbit and might have been lost, Xinhua said.

However, in an emailed statement to Xinhua, SpaceX hinted that the presumed problem may have nothing to do with its Falcon 9 rocket, which ‘did everything correctly’ during the launch from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

“We do not comment on missions of this nature; but as of right now reviews of the data indicate Falcon 9 performed nominally,” the statement added.

Quoting two anonymous U.S. officials, News website Time also said that the Zuma satellite, built by American aerospace and defence technology company Northrop Grumman, failed to separate from the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket and is assumed to have broken up or plunged into the sea.

The satellite is assumed to be “a write-off,” the report said, adding that an investigation is underway, but there is no initial indication of sabotage or other interference.

Previously, SpaceX has launched two classified payloads for the U.S. government during the past year.

Launched in May, the NROL-76 spy satellite was for the National Reconnaissance Office. The other was a non-crewed X-37B space plane for the U.S. Air Force, which lifted off in September. (ANI)