US spy satellite believed to be lost: report

US spy satellite believed to be lost: report

"As a company, Northrop Grumman realizes this is a monumental responsibility and we have taken great care to ensure the most affordable and lowest risk scenario for Zuma", Lon Rains, a Northrop Grumman spokesman, said of its decision to launch the mission using Elon Musk's SpaceX, short for Space Exploration Technologies Corp., per Bloomberg.

"Since the data reviewed so far indicates that no design, operational or other changes are needed, we do not anticipate any impact on the upcoming launch schedule".

SpaceX has launched national security payloads in the past, including a spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office, and an X-37B space plane for the US Air Force. If additional reviews uncover any problems, she said, "we will report it immediately".

California-based SpaceX, headed by Elon Musk, said the rocket was not to blame.

The conflicting reports, coupled with the seemingly incongruous aftermath, are adding a rocket-load of mystery to an already mysterious launch.

After two minutes of the launch, the first stage rocket booster separated from the second stage rocket and fired up its engine.

Last year was a banner year for the private space company with 18 launches. The satellite fell into the ocean, according to anonymous statements made by a U.S. Congressional aide, Bloomberg said.

Falcon Heavy was vertical on the Kennedy Space Center launch pad 39A last week for the first time. Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false.

The successful Zuma mission also clears the path for the launch of SpaceX's new massive Falcon Heavy rocket later this month. The government is reportedly still hashing out the details to determine who was at fault. The Zuma payload was contracted for launch by Northrop Grumman for the U.S. government, Northrop then selected SpaceX as the carrier of the payload.

"Having that capability is a critical part of growing the U.S. space program and certainly the capabilities of the Cape Canaveral space port to become a more dominant part of the future", Ketcham said.

This is not the first time a payload was lost on a SpaceX mission.