SpaceX defends rocket performance after loss of U.S. spy satellite


(Reuters) – SpaceX on Tuesday defended the performance of one of its rockets used to launch a U.S. spy satellite that is believed to have been lost after failing to reach orbit, adding that no changes were anticipated to its upcoming launch schedule.

“For clarity: after review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night. If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately,” SpaceX, which is led by entrepreneur Elon Musk, said in an emailed statement.

The classified intelligence satellite, code-named Zuma and built by Northrop Grumman Corp, failed to separate from the second stage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and is assumed to have broken up or plunged into the sea, two officials said on Monday on condition of anonymity.

“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 added.

The multibillion-dollar satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a SpaceX rocket on Sunday.

Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Paul Simao

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