SpaceX scheduled to test fire Falcon Heavy rocket Thursday


To add to the mystery status of Zuma mission, the satellite is still categorized as a payload by the US space-based surveillance system.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket successfully into orbit, while returning its first-stage booster to the ground for reuse.

A senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, Laura Grego, showed concern that the satellite might have stopped functioning near the orbit or failed to separate from the rocket during the second half of the mission.

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"We have chose to stand down and take a closer look at data from recent fairing testing for another customer", said SpaceX communications director John Taylor at the time. But Shotwell reiterated in a statement Tuesday morning that "after review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night". However, the agency confirmed that the Falcon 9 performed as it was supposed to after going through the data review of the mission. If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately.

As for Northrop Grumman, the manufacturer of the Zuma satellite, it simply added "we can not comment on classified missions".

The Wall Street Journal quotes unidentified congressional officials who were briefed on the mission as saying the satellite apparently did not separate from the second stage, and plunged through the atmosphere and burned up. "Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false".

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Teams will watch closely as the three-core launch vehicle is loaded with propellant at pad 39A on Thursday, then briefly fire its 27 Merlin engines for the first time.

On its website, SpaceX says it has more than 70 upcoming missions on its launch manifest, which could take several years.

The Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket in the world.

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SpaceX did not report any problems with the launch; however, while the company usually announces a successful launch regardless of the classification of the payload, no confirmation was given by SpaceX or Northrup Grumman, the company that manufactured the secret satellite. SpaceX has a six-hour window - from 1 7 p.m. - to fuel and test the 230-foot-tall rocket.