Thursday, January 11, 2018

Pentagon Sticks to No Comment on Secret Satellite That Vanished



The Pentagon refused any public comment on a secret U.S. government satellite that apparently crashed into the sea after it was launched by Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp.

“I would have to refer you to SpaceX, who conducted the launch,” Defense Department spokeswoman Dana White said repeatedly in a briefing Thursday at the Pentagon, citing “the classified nature of all of this.” Asked what investigation is being conducted to ensure accountability for the loss of a costly payload, White told reporters she will “come back to you on that.”

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket seemed to lift off successfully from the pad at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Sunday carrying a classified payload in a mission code-named Zuma, but the satellite has gone missing. Lawmakers are receiving classified briefings on the lost satellite.

“The first statement by SpaceX was that the failure to achieve orbit was not theirs” so there’s no reason so far to question the company’s planned participation in NASA space projects, Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, a former astronaut and the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transport Committee, said Wednesday before being briefed.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-10/lawmakers-look-into-spacex-launch-that-ended-with-lost-satellite

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