SpaceX set to launch again Monday

January 7, 2017
This NASA TV video grab file image obtained September 1, 2016 shows the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket explosion at Cape Canaveral, Florida

SpaceX plans to resume flights of its Falcon 9 rocket on Monday, after pinning down the cause of a launchpad explosion that destroyed a satellite in September, a spokesman said.

The California-based private space firm is expected to launch 10 Iridium NEXT communications satellites from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Iridium said Friday on its website that a static test fire of the Falcon 9 had been completed and the would be ready for next week's launch scheduled for 1822 GMT, weather permitting.

An unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded September 1 in Cape Canaveral, destroying a satellite that Facebook planned to use to beam high-speed internet to Africa.

That marked a setback for the company and its founder Elon Musk, who wants to revolutionize the launch industry by making rocket components reusable.

In a statement earlier this week, SpaceX said it had traced the problem to a pressure vessel in the second-stage liquid oxygen tank. It said it will change the way it fuels for now, and in the future will redesign its pressure vessels.

That accident—the second of its kind since SpaceX was founded in 2002—came just over a year after a Falcon 9 rocket failed after liftoff on June 28, 2015, destroying a Dragon cargo capsule bound for the International Space Station.

Before that, SpaceX had logged 18 successful launches of the Falcon 9—including six of 12 planned supply missions to the ISS carried out as part of a $1.6 billion contract with NASA.

SpaceX had hoped to resume Falcon 9 flights as early as November, then in mid-December, before pushing the date to January.

Explore further: SpaceX ready to launch again after explosion

Related Stories

New twist in SpaceX rocket blast probe

October 2, 2016

The mysterious explosion of a SpaceX rocket last month took an odd turn with a "cordial" encounter between staff of Elon Musk's firm and fierce rival United Launch Alliance, The Washington Post reported.

SpaceX to launch Japanese satellite early Friday

May 5, 2016

SpaceX plans to launch early Friday a Japanese communications satellite into a distant orbit before attempting to land the first stage of its Falcon rocket on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean.

Recommended for you

Mars Curiosity celebrates sol 2,000

March 23, 2018

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover just hit a new milestone: its two-thousandth Martian day, or sol, on the Red Planet. An image mosaic taken by the rover in January offers a preview of what comes next.

Radio nebula discovered around the pulsar PSR J0855–4644

March 21, 2018

Using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) in India, an international team of astronomers has detected a diffuse radio emission forming a nebula around the pulsar PSR J0855–4644. The finding is reported March 9 ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

3.2 / 5 (5) Jan 07, 2017
GO SpaceX, GO!
not rated yet Jan 08, 2017
The Iridium NEXT launch has been delayed by the "10 year storm" in California. Next try is January 14.
not rated yet Jan 08, 2017
The launch is currently scheduled for Saturday, January 14. SpaceX plans to launch the rocket at 9:54:34 a.m. PST from Space Launch Complex 4-East at south Vandenberg.
1 / 5 (1) Jan 10, 2017
Hopefully Musk's security will be up to the challenge this time. If launching anything "Jewish" there are apparently still people with weapons who will try to shoot it down, Arabs working for ISIS. I heard that from Mohammed Attah, the nutcase who sent guys to hijack airlines into the capital and WTC towers. He said he had "guys" in Fort Lauderdale. I told all this to the FBI, but they paid zero attention.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.