Elon Musk's SpaceX denies blame as spy satellite fails

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But it did show both the launch and the landing of the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket back at Cape Canaveral.

"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", Shotwell said in the statement.

"After review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night", Shotwell said. "Due to the classified nature of the payload, no further comment is possible", said Shotwell.

The launch falls on the heels of Sunday's Falcon 9 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station that attempted to send the secretive Zuma satellite into space. If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately.

But on Tuesday, Northrop Grumman spokesperson Lon Rains declined to answer questions about the mission, including the failure or success of its launch, cost, exact government customer, and more.

Tim Paynter, a spokesman for Northrop Corp., which was commissioned by the Defense Department to choose the launch contractor, said "we can not comment on classified missions", and army lieutenant colonel Jamie Davis, the Pentagon's spokesman for space policy, referred questions to SpaceX.

The end goal for the Hawthorne, California-based company will be to prove the utility of the rocket that can lift more than twice the payload of competitor United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy.

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But even if SpaceX's Falcon 9 performed perfectly, it is not a good time for the company, founded by Musk in 2002, to have something happen to such an important payload.

A military satellite launched by Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp appears to have crashed into the sea after a malfunction while being boosted into orbit, a potential setback for the billionaire's rocket program.

"This is a classified mission".

The nature of the mission remains shrouded in mystery. SpaceX is also under contract from NASA to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, and it maintains that the first test flights with humans on board could happen as soon as this year. "We can not comment on a classified mission", he said.

The loss, if it was determined to be a failure of SpaceX hardware, could be a "real threat" to the company's future defense business, said Loren Thompson, defense analyst at the Lexington Institute. Falcon Heavy has been rolled out to launchpad LC-39A for a static fire later this week, to be followed shortly thereafter by its maiden flight. Under mounting pressure from SpaceX, he was sacked, and ULA's new CEO, Tory Bruno, vowed to "literally transform" the company in order to compete with Musk - and he also continued to champion ULA's track record of successful launches. The company has said it plans about 30 missions in 2018 after completing a record 18 past year. The thrust its 27 engines can produce is equivalent to 18 Boeing ( BA ) 747s and makes it two times more powerful than any other rocket operating today, according to SpaceX.

SpaceX's statement muddied assertions of a failure in the second stage of the Falcon 9, as a USA official and two congressional aides familiar with the launch had said.

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