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US spy satellite worth 'billions' believed to be lost in space after SpaceX launch failure

A highly classified US government satellite appears to have been lost in space after it was shot into the sky in a recent SpaceX launch. 

SpaceX launched a secret satellite codenamed Zuma on its first flight of the new year yesterday, however The Wall Street Journal reported today the satellite is lost. 

The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket left Cape Canaveral in Florida, yesterday, to carry the satellite toward an undisclosed orbit.

SpaceX ended the launch commentary five minutes into the flight because of the classified nature of the satellite.

According to The Wall Street Journal, lawmakers were briefed about the destruction of the secretive payload, citing industry and government officials.

The payload is suspected to have burned up in the atmosphere after it failed to separate properly from the upper part of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the report said.

A SpaceX spokesman told the Journal, "We do not comment on missions of this nature, but as of right now reviews of the data indicate Falcon 9 performed nominally".

According to the report, the satellite may have been worth billions of dollars. 

The Falcon 9 rocket landed successfully back to base.