[Update Dec 7th] Just last week we reported that SpaceX might be returning to flight after the recent explosion soon, December 16th to be exact, however, today it was revealed that it might not be as soon as we expected.
Today SpaceX confirmed that they will be extending this time until early January in order to better prep the Falcon 9 and extensively test the vehicle ahead of this return to flight.
You can read more about it at the update source below.
Update Source: SpaceX
[Original Story] Some time ago SpaceX’s Falcon 9 hit one of the biggest roadblocks in its history when the Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launchpad in Cape Canaveral, Florida, just a couple of days before it was scheduled to deliver Internet.org’s Amos 6 satellite.
In early November, SpaceX’s CEO Elon Musk revealed that the company had determined helium tanks inside of the Falcon 9, which were also involved in the previous roadblock for the company in June 2015, when the Falcon 9 had it’s last explosion in mid-flight.
The FAA, NASA, and the US Air Force are still investigating the most recent September incident, and they are expected to launch a full accident report soon and after they receive approval from the FAA, they will be able to launch once again.
And that might be sooner than we first thought.
According to Iridium Communications Inc, SpaceX plans to launch 10 small satellites into orbit for the company on December 16th at 3:36PM ET.
This is as according to the following tweet:
Iridium NEXT first launch date set for Dec 16 at 12:36 PST, pending regulatory approvals #NEXTevolution.”
— IridiumIR (@IridiumIR) December 1, 2016
Of course, we haven’t heard anything from SpaceX just yet, however, when we do hear more we will let you know.