It was the company's 21st successful booster recovery, it's ninth at the Air Force station.
Lawmakers and congressional staffers from the Senate and the House have been briefed about the botched mission, some of the officials said.
The launch took off from Cape Canaveral in Florida. There are two of these drone-ships remaining uncrewed and named as 'Of Course I Still Love You' and 'Just Read the Instructions'. SpaceX has launched a secret satellite codenamed Zuma on its first flight of the new year. This mission had a bit of cloak and dagger associated with a secret Zuma mission atop the rocket.
The launch was delayed from November last year to Jan. 4 due to undisclosed reasons, and then again delayed due to issues with the Falcon 9's nose. Follow along live on Instagram to get a behind-the-scenes view of SpaceX's first launch of 2018. Being able to reuse part of the rocket has the scope to reshape the costs for launching spacecraft and looks to be a vital part of future space travel. The launch time and window remain the same for Thursday, opening at 8:00 p.m. EST and remaining open until 10:00 p.m. EST.
A SpaceX spokesperson told Fox News in a statement: "We do not comment on missions of this nature; but as of right now reviews of the data indicate Falcon 9 performed nominally". Fairings are used to shield satellites that are carried near the nose of the rocket.
Post launch of the satellite, the mission started garnering rumors regarding a suspected failure of the same.
At just one minute before the opening of the launch window, the flight computer was ordered to begin pre-flight checks and the propellant tanks were brought up to flight pressure.
Of course, this assumes the thing doesn't explode mid-launch. The rocket has already reached to the launch site. The rocket's second stage propels the satellite into orbit. Musk announced on social media last week that the Falcon Heavy would be launched at the end of the month, after several delays. The first stage 'aced' it's landing that came about 8 minutes after take-off. The ship will enter another city and then re-enter the atmosphere.
The assumption is that the Zuma payload is a national security satellite, but the secrecy surrounding it is certainly intriguing. "This is a classified mission".