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SpaceX launches mystery government satellite

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Posted (edited)

A friend of the wife's who served in Iraq and Afghanistan messaged me last night. Asked if I had access to the mainstream media channels. Then said that he heard from a retired Colonel that the U.S. was at non nuclear defcon 1 , and that the payload on Zuma was an orbital weapons system. Told me all this not 5 minutes after I first read about the launch.

Edited by a vampire wears my boxers
missing text

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Posted (edited)

As some of our friends "across the pond" might say... Jolly good show!

Edited by pallidin

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53 minutes ago, a vampire wears my boxers said:

 and that the payload on Zuma was an orbital weapons system.

Highly unlikely. The USA would be in violation of several treaties if it was to deploy such a system.

Besides this launch was announced months ago, and, in fact, has been delayed by two months by a series of problems with the Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

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1 hour ago, Waspie_Dwarf said:

Highly unlikely. The USA would be in violation of several treaties if it was to deploy such a system.

Besides this launch was announced months ago, and, in fact, has been delayed by two months by a series of problems with the Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

To add, if your wife's friend was caught relaying this type of info, if it was factual, the friend would be arrested so fast their head would spin.

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3 hours ago, a vampire wears my boxers said:

A friend of the wife's who served in Iraq and Afghanistan messaged me last night. Asked if I had access to the mainstream media channels. Then said that he heard from a retired Colonel that the U.S. was at non nuclear defcon 1 , and that the payload on Zuma was an orbital weapons system. Told me all this not 5 minutes after I first read about the launch.

Why not just vist space x and ask them?

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"The meaning of the name Zuma is Lord Frowns In Anger. The origin of the name Zuma is Aztec."

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Zuma is also one of the Paw Patrol. He is the Sea Rescue pup. Coincidence?

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10 hours ago, a vampire wears my boxers said:

A friend of the wife's who served in Iraq and Afghanistan messaged me last night. Asked if I had access to the mainstream media channels. Then said that he heard from a retired Colonel that the U.S. was at non nuclear defcon 1 , and that the payload on Zuma was an orbital weapons system. Told me all this not 5 minutes after I first read about the launch.

Well if what you say is true, it could not come at a more appropriate time if NK is deciding to test how far their ICBMs will go.

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Nzo said:

Well if what you say is true, it could not come at a more appropriate time if NK is deciding to test how far their ICBMs will go.

I was going to ask you how you think it is possible for a single satellite in low Earth orbit to provide any protection from a North Korean ICBM (or anyone else's for that matter).

I was going to ask that but as strong rumours suggest that it is highly likely that Zuma failed to reach orbit any answer you gave would be rather irrelevant anyway. 

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
typo.
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Posted (edited)

Space X has stated that it's rocket performed nominally, and apparently has the data to back this up. Grumman Aerospace, which built the satellite, has been notably silent about the possibility that its part of the mission failed. 

Edited by bison
improved word choice
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Posted (edited)

A U.S. Administration official, and two sources who had been briefed on the matter have confirmed that the Zuma satellite failed to separate from the rocket's upper stage, and did not reach a stable orbit. Please see link, below, for more details:

http://www.money.cnn.com/2018/01/09/technology/spacex-zuma-spacecraft-lost/index.html

Edited by bison
corrected spelling, punctuation

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On 1/8/2018 at 11:28 AM, Mr.United_Nations said:

Why not just vist space x and ask them?

pffft, everyone knows nobody would get past the Reptilian secretary in the lobby/precious fluid extractor...geez c'mon maaaaan

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On 1/8/2018 at 10:23 AM, paperdyer said:

To add, if your wife's friend was caught relaying this type of info, if it was factual, the friend would be arrested so fast their head would spin.

Is what i was thinking as well. I so wanted to call shenanigans, but he is a cool dude. Didn't want to cause any sort of rift. Wife and I are close to several folks that say some wacky stuff...so..ya know....bless their hearts...

 

 

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There are now photos of spiraling rocket plumes, apparently from the SpaceX  Zuma launch. The timing for the rocket to be passing over the area of Africa where the photos were taken reportedly matches. Please find a link to article with the photos, below:

https://www.space.com/39338-spacex-zuma-rocket-sky-spiral-photos.html 

Northrup Grumman Aerospace is now citing the classified nature of the mission, in refusing to comment on reports that the Zuma satellite failed to reach orbit.

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1 hour ago, bison said:

There are now photos of spiraling rocket plumes, apparently from the SpaceX  Zuma launch.

That's perfectly normal. It's the upper stage venting fuel before re-entry and is not indicative of a problem.

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Is the fate of Zuma, good or bad, something that NASA and the DoD would officially share with the public, given its classified status?

Or will we hear nothing more... that it made it or burnt-up?

 

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On 1/11/2018 at 9:55 PM, pallidin said:

Is the fate of Zuma, good or bad, something that NASA and the DoD would officially share with the public, given its classified status?

NASA definitely but not necessarily the DoD.

On 1/11/2018 at 9:55 PM, pallidin said:

Or will we hear nothing more... that it made it or burnt-up?

If it is in orbit then the global network of amateur satellite trackers from around the world will find it. The fact that it has not been located a week after launch is making it look more and more likely that it did fail to go into orbit.

SpaceX and Northrop Grumman (who manufactured the satellite) are both under contract to stay silent on anything to do with Zuma. As the government agency responsible for Zuma is keeping itself secret it seems unlikely that we will hear anything more about this satellite until at least some of the information is declassified.

It is possible to guess at potential causes for the failure. As the rumours began very quickly that the satellite had burned up the most likely explanation would be that Zuma failed to separate from the Falcon 9 upper stage. SpaceX have categorically denied that the Falcon 9 failed to perform correctly in any way. Normally it would such a claim from SpaceX (if true of course) would exclude a failure of the payload to separate from the upper stage as this would be SpaceX's responsibility. However it is known that Northrop Grumman built a special payload adaptor to connect the satellite to the rocket and so it is possible that the failure was due to a Northrop Grumman failure not SpaceX.

Another, less likely, possibility is that satellite did separate from the Falcon 9 but then suffered some sort of malfunction (possibly with a boost motor designed to propel it into a higher orbit).

The final option is that Zuma is alive and well and that whichever organisation is responsible for it is smiling at the misinformation that surrounds it. If that is the case then those satellite spotters will see it sooner or later.

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any educated quess as to what was the satellite function? my guess is, it's a communications satellite for keeping in touch with operatives 

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8 hours ago, kartikg said:

any educated quess as to what was the satellite function? my guess is, it's a communications satellite for keeping in touch with operatives 

A single satellite in LEO? Not a chance.

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