Washington — The US Air Force command that certified Elon Musk’s company SpaceX for military missions says it remains confident in the company’s capabilities, despite the disappearance this month of a classified satellite it launched. "Based on the data available, our team did not identify any information that would change SpaceX’s Falcon 9 certification status" after "a preliminary review of telemetry that was available to us from" the January 7 launch, Lieutenant General John Thompson, commander of the Space and Missile Systems Centre, said in a statement to Bloomberg News. While Thompson’s comments were carefully qualified — he emphasised that "the Air Force will continue to evaluate data from all launches" — they bolstered SpaceX’s position that its Falcon 9 rocket apparently "did everything correctly" in the mission code-named Zuma. That may increase scrutiny of Northrop Grumman, which oversaw the mission and built the satellite as well as the coupling to release it from the se...

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