Zuma bumped NASA for the first launch of 2018 but the mission's status remains murky. Wikipedia says:

The US government has not publicly stated if there was a failure of Zuma and this secrecy has generated speculations on its purpose and its fate.

and Jonathan McDowell aka @planet4589 tweeted

Space-Track has cataloged the Zuma payload as USA 280, international designation 2018-001A. Catalog number 43098.

No orbit details given. No reentry date given, but for a secret payload it might not be. Implication is Space-Track thinks it completed at least one orbit

Yes it's a secret mission but answers to What kind of payload is Mission 1390 (Zuma) going to launch? tell us something and answers to How are military satellites with (apparently) classified TLEs still showing up on sat map websites? explain that secret missions are still tracked by amateurs. In fact active searches for radio signals from Zuma lead to the discovery of another lost satellite.

Are there any updates on Zuma's fate or possible subsequent sightings or detections of radio signals from it? Were one or more TLEs issued? If so, what do they imply?

NOTE: answers to What was the outcome of the launch of ZUMA by SpaceX, to the best of the public's knowledge? do not answer my question because

  1. they were written 2.5 years ago, only days after the launch itself and so can not capture any potential observations in the following years, and
  2. because they do not address my question about "at least one orbit" by Jonathan McDowell.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.