Trending: Sightings of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites spark awe — and astronomical angst

News Brief: Investigators have tentatively concluded that January’s loss of a U.S. spy satellite code-named Zuma was due to problems with a payload adapter that was provided by the satellite’s manufacturer, Northrop Grumman, rather than the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle, The Wall Street Journal reported today. One unnamed source told the Journal that the adapter failed to uncouple the satellite from the rocket under zero-gravity conditions, and that the failure wasn’t detected until it was too late to try a rescue. Military officials have declined to comment publicly on Zuma’s loss, but SpaceX insists its rocket performed as intended.

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