Jan 8, 2018 - Science

Satellite launched by SpaceX may be destroyed

A SpaceX rocket launch

A SpaceX launch last year. Photo: Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images.

A classified spy satellite launched by SpaceX yesterday may have been destroyed after failing to reach orbit, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing unidentified industry and government officials. Members of Congress and staff have been briefed on the mission, which destroyed a secret satellite that may have cost "billions of dollars" according to the paper.

Why it matters: SpaceX has been trying to become a "reliable, low-cost launch provider" for the military, the paper says, competing against a more established competitor run by Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The company had planned more than 25 launches this year, including its first with astronauts. SpaceX said its rocket "performed nominally" but didn't provide additional information.

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