Sunday night saw the first SpaceX launch of the year, the trusted Falcon 9 rocket carrying a secretive government payload known as Zuma. And while the company and its CEO Elon Musk shared some photographs and videos of the visual spectacle, doubts are now being raised about the actual success of the mission.

While the first stage of the Falcon 9 made a safe landing back on Earth — reusability of rockets is the unique selling point for SpaceX, also allowing the company to keep its costs down — its cargo is reportedly just dead weight in space now, having either failed to reach its intended orbit successfully or just not functional in its orbit.

The possible loss of Zuma — Northrup Grumman built it, is all that is known publicly about the satellite — was first reported by a reporter who writes about spaceflight.

A number of publications then contacted both the companies — SpaceX and Northrup Grumman — since it is not known which government agency (or maybe it was the military) had commissioned Zuma.

“We do not comment on missions of this nature; but as of right now reviews of the data indicate Falcon 9 performed nominally,” SpaceX said, apparently meaning its rocket did what it was supposed to do.

Citing the secretive nature of the payload, a spokesperson for the defense and aviation company said nothing at all, except: “This is a classified mission. We cannot comment on classified missions.”

There was nothing unusual about the launch itself, which — as the photos and videos show — went off just like SpaceX would have liked, complete with the first stage landing. According to a report by Dow Jones, which cited sources to say members of the Senate and the House were “briefed about the botched mission,” Zuma may have burnt up in the atmosphere during reentry after it failed to properly separate from the second stage of Falcon 9. The satellite could have cost billions of dollars.

Since there is no official word from any of the parties directly involved, speculation about the fate of the satellite is rife. Some industry watchers suspect the satellite separated properly from the second stage but failed soon after, which could have either been a failure to reach its orbit or a communication breakdown with the command center on Earth.