SpaceX postpones 'static test' fire of Falcon Heavy engines

Posted January 14, 2018

SpaceX defended its rocket performance during the weekend launch of a secret US satellite, responding Tuesday to media reports that the satellite codenamed Zuma was lost.

Yet SpaceX seems confident that it played its part in the Zuma mission well, and the company does not foresee this mission disrupting its schedule. The company cheered a successful liftoff and then the touchdown of its first-stage booster back on land so that it could be flown again, a practice created to lower the cost of spaceflight.

However, SpaceX never officially confirmed the success of the mission.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the satellite failed to separate properly during the second stage of the mission and dived back into the Earth's atmosphere which caused the failure of the designated mission.

SpaceX's review so far indicates that "no design, operational or other changes are needed", Shotwell said.

The Falcon 9 rocket was able to make a successful powered landing back on the ground after separating from the upper stage.

Last year, SpaceX launched two national security missions with its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket.

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SpaceX's new, powerful rocket, the Falcon Heavy, is at its launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, awaiting an engine test-firing.The California-based company aims to launch the Heavy by month's end.

Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false.

At Pad 39A, where Saturn V rockets and space shuttles launched, the first SpaceX Falcon 9 Heavy rocket is standing tall on the pad, where the commercial company's team was scheduled to perform a "static fire" test Thursday.

Falcon Heavy launches start at $90 million, compared to the starting price of $62 million for the smaller Falcon 9, according to SpaceX's website. Musk has said BFR could be used for missions ranging from taking satellites to low-Earth orbit to colonizing Mars.

"We have made a decision 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.

"If we're talking about expanding exploration, it will be good to have more capabilities", said Olga Bannova, research associate professor and director of the space architecture graduate program at the University of Houston's college of engineering. "We are also preparing for an F9 launch for SES and the Luxembourg Government from SLC-40 in three weeks". Rumours have arisen that the mission was carrying a spy satellite of Pentagon and that it even had the capability to fix other satellites.