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SpaceX reportedly lost its mysterious Zuma payload

While SpaceX successfully relanded the most recent Falcon 9 it launched Elon Musk even tweeted about it its top-secret payload apparently met a different fate. According to The Wall Street Journal, Zuma failed to make it to orbit, and authorities believe it has plummeted back into the atmosphere.

No government agency stepped forward to claim the satellite, but industry experts estimate its cost to be billions of dollars. WSJ says the satellite didn't separate from Falcon 9's upper stage as it should have, but Bloomberg reports that it was the rocket's second stage itself that had failed.

Harvard-Smithsonian astronomer Jonathan McDowell noted that space situational awareness service Space-Track catalogued Zuma. Space-Track adding something to its catalogue means that object made it to orbit. However, Navy Captain Brook DeWalt told Bloomberg that the military division has "nothing to add to the satellite catalogue at this time." It's all conflicting reports all around, and unfortunately, both SpaceX and Northrop Grumman, which built the satellite, refuse to talk. "We do not comment on missions of this nature; but as of right now reviews of the data indicate Falcon 9 performed nominally," the space corporation told Engadget.

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