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Taxpayers May Pay for Secret Satellite Lost After SpaceX Launch

  • U.S. generally doesn’t buy insurance, according to broker
  • Northrop Grumman and SpaceX likely not responsible for costs
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SpaceX's Secret Military Satellite Goes Missing

U.S. taxpayers may end up paying for the missing satellite launched by Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. that crashed into the ocean earlier this month, part of a classified U.S. government mission dubbed “Zuma.”

Questions remain around the event, which appeared to be unsuccessful despite a fruitful rocket launch and first-stage landing. But SpaceX and Northrop Grumman Corp., the satellite builder, aren’t likely to bear the costs. They probably have contracts with the government that limit the firms’ liabilities tied to the lost satellite, according to several industry experts.