In Northrop Grumman, the producer of Zuma and adapter payload, declined to comment, citing the secrecy of the mission.
Christensen noted that SpaceX has been unambiguous in defending its role in Sunday's launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. 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.
Little is known about the Zuma satellite - not even the name of the USA government agency that owns it.
As far as we can tell from reporting by both the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, the Zuma satellite failed to successfully separate from the upper stage. If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately. If true, the spacecraft and rocket likely fell into the Indian Ocean, where the Falcon 9 second stage was to re-enter after releasing Zuma in orbit.
Last year was a banner year for SpaceX, with 18 launches.
While the authorities are refraining from discussing the fate of Zuma mission, SpaceX is planning on increasing the feasibility of the rockets to make it reusable like airplanes which can significantly decrease the cost incurred during any mission.
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Water ice can be used, of course, for life support as well as for making fuels for surface and space vehicles. They exist as pure water ice today, with rock and dust cemented in layers throughout it.
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The Falcon Heavy also benefits from the development of its predecessor, the Falcon 9, said Phil Larson, assistant dean at the University of Colorado, Boulder's College of Engineering.
Shotwell pushed back on reports that seemed to implicate SpaceX with the satellite's demise, saying "information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false".
"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", Shotwell said.
"They're concerned any failure might hinder their ability to get future national security launch contracts", said Brian Weeden, the director of programme planning for the Secure World Foundation, a space-policy think tank.
A strong showing on Falcon Heavy's first outing will enhance the perception of SpaceX's capabilities and will also contribute to the view of its market value, Christensen said.