RIP Philo

SpaceX ZUMA payload allegedly lost

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Permalink Zaq 
January 10th, 2018 10:17am
Oh, I glossed over it because the topic line didn't reach out to me.
Permalink Wabi-sabi 
January 10th, 2018 11:58am
Why's this in any way worth mentioning like it's some nefarious new twist?

It's only in the news because SpaceX had a launch and has to explain something about what it is to the general public. The DoD explaining a secret mission publicly, is like "yeah, whatever". All or part of the "facts" will be made-up.
Permalink Bored Bystander 
January 10th, 2018 4:19pm
Analysts are now suggesting this is a fake failure. SpaceX says their ship performed fine. WSJ and Bloomberg claim the payload failed to separate from the second stage and was dragged back to a fiery death through the atmosphere.

Both statements can not be true. However, SpaceX has legal obligations and can not misrepresent whether their rocket performed nominally because that would be misleading the shareholders. WSJ though is under no such constraint.
Permalink Reality Check 
January 10th, 2018 4:47pm
Perhaps it failed to insert into the right orbit and is still up there. But, since it is the most extreme form of super secret stuff we have (presumably), the last thing you want the Russians or Chinese to know is that because they might send up a rocket to recover it or just take a look.

So it failed and we say it was dragged back down.

Rather than it failed at is still up there.

On the other hand, even if it succeeded, people could still go up and take a look at it if they wanted.

There's lots of amateur guys that track orbits of stuff, so if it's up there people will eventually out it.
Permalink Reality Check 
January 10th, 2018 4:52pm
Sounds plausible
Permalink Wabi-sabi 
January 10th, 2018 5:47pm
It's probably docking with the Black Knight satellite as we speak.
Permalink Bored Bystander 
January 10th, 2018 7:33pm
No, that's just a thermal space blanket that was accidentally dropped by the space station.
Permalink Reality Check 
January 10th, 2018 7:42pm
^ cover story
Permalink Bored Bystander 
January 10th, 2018 8:36pm
It's a story about a certain sort of cover, notably a blanket... ahhhh, I got you. Neat.

But seriously, when astronauts have space sex they often lose their space blankets, which are very easy to mistake for a 15 million year old alien surveillance satellite in retrograde polar orbit.

Common rookie mistake.
Permalink Reality Check 
January 10th, 2018 8:45pm
Hey Bored did you ever read the government's special report on Roswell?

They investigated and said they accepted as established fact that news papers reported a space ship crashing, a rancher found it, the rancher and others saw what they thought were dying space aliens, mysterious parts made from a strange metal, and a control panel with alien language on it.

They then explained it as follows:

A weather balloon called MoGUL was doing high altitude experiments because of the response to Sputnik and was carrying mannequins. It crashed and the mannequins were damaged, giving them an alien appearance. The weather ballon was made of mylar, hence the strange appearance. The control panel was actually some patterned duct tape that they used in assembling the weather balloon.

They also said that the report had conflated two separate incidents. Another was a test pilot who crashed in the desert and was found. He had a head injury so his head was large. This is why some people reported seeing LIVE aliens with "large heads".

You can still read their findings!

Non NSA tracking link:

It's a great report because it collects tons of witness statements and explains away every single thing with "swamp gas" or "space blanket" sorts of explanations.
Permalink Reality Check 
January 10th, 2018 8:54pm
To explain them dumping different experiments spanning a decade into one bucket they say:

"UFO proponents have failed to establish the accurate dates for these "alien" observations (in some instances by more than a decade) and then erroneously linked them to the actual Project Mogul debris recovery."
Permalink Reality Check 
January 10th, 2018 8:57pm
Sorry, polyethylene balloons, not mylar.

> "Aliens" observed in the New Mexico desert were anthropomorphic test dummies that were carried aloft by U.S. Air Force high altitude balloons for scientific research.

> The "unusual" military activities in the New Mexico desert were high altitude research balloon launch and recovery operations. The reports of military units that always seemed to arrive shortly after the crash of a flying saucer to retrieve the saucer and "crew" were actually accurate descriptions of Air Force personnel engaged in anthropomorphic dummy recovery operations.

So that explains why they sent a full medical crew to collect the dummies, and carry them away on stretchers, and then ambulances. Because they were trying to make this exercise in dummy crashes from balloons as realistic as possible.

Also people reported the aliens had 3 long fingers and a thumb, so Air Force responds "Well the mannequins we used at the time only had 4 fingers."

May 21, 1959 in the Excelsior project Fulgham and Kittinger were injured just after sunrise. They were landing their balloon at an alternate site due to wind. The balloon wrecked and the crew spilled out. Fulgham's head was caught between the edge of the gondola and the ground. The impact shattered his helmet and he sustained a head injury, causing his head to become abnormally large in appearance.

So the reports of people seeing aliens with big heads in 1947 was just someone that saw this in 1959 and was confused about the date.
Permalink Reality Check 
January 10th, 2018 9:14pm
Brazel was the rancher who first found the original Roswell site and collected material from it, including alien writing, which was later confiscated.

What he really found:

"There were no words to be found anywhere on the instrument, although there were letters on some of the parts. Considerable scotch tape and some tape with flowers printed upon it had been used in the construction."
Permalink Reality Check 
January 10th, 2018 9:24pm
Back to ZUMA.

Allegedly, has identified the payload as international designation 2018-001A, catalog #43098.

Supposedly you only get these designations if your object completely at least one orbit.

So if the payload completed one orbit, it must have separated and not been dragged down.

That site requires credentials to access though so I can't confirm.
Permalink Reality Check 
January 10th, 2018 9:37pm
The space-track entry was placed there by someone at Strategic Command’s Joint Space Operations Center after the payload completed one orbit.

So it seems WSJ and Bloomberg (which is now claiming SpaceX's second stage FAILED, which SpaceX completely denies) may be lying.
Permalink Reality Check 
January 10th, 2018 9:42pm
Dr Marco Langbroek photographed the second stage reentering orbit exactly where it was expected to reenter if everything went fine. If it was being dragged down by the payload, it would have come down in another place.

It's basically scientifically confirmed that the payload DID separate, and the stories claiming it didn't are lies.
Permalink Reality Check 
January 10th, 2018 9:48pm
Photo taken by Dutch pilot Peter Horstink of second stage reentering orbit over Sudan. Taken from high altitude plane.
Permalink Reality Check 
January 10th, 2018 9:50pm

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