SpaceX Confident For January Relaunch; FAA Not So SureBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
The relaunch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket has been moved to next month. However, Elon Musk's company still has to wait for the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
It was previously reported that Iridium has revealed that the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket may have another flight on Dec. 16. This time, the communications company will be sending 10 satellites on board for the launch.
Last month, Elon Musk has confirmed that he and his team have finally figured out what caused the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket explosion last Sep. 1. The issue was found to from the spacecraft's fueling system. The blast destroyed a satellite, worth $200 million, owned by Israel's Space Communication Ltd.
The launch has been postponed next month, though. According to Wired, SpaceX has announced that launching is expected to begin in early January.
If this pushes through, it would happen just four months after the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded on a Florida launch pad. However, Elon Musk's company still does not have a license from the Federal Aviation Association.
In SpaceX's official website, the company confirmed that they are "finalizing the investigation" on the Falcon 9 rocket blast. They are also working on the final steps needed for a safe and reliable return to flight of the spacecraft.
"This allows for additional time to close-out vehicle preparations and complete extended testing to help ensure the highest possible level of mission assurance prior to launch," SpaceX wrote.
A spokesperson from the Federal Aviation Administration has clarified, though, that SpaceX has not completed the investigation. This is required by the government agency for the launch license.
It was noted that, depending on the size of the fix needed to address the cause of the Falcon 9 rocket explosion, it would take time for the FAA to grant SpaceX its license. The agency believes that "it could take a little while" since they would need to send inspectors and have to inform air traffic control.