Sci-tech

SpaceX cleared by FAA for Monday launch of Falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX cleared by FAA for Monday launch of Falcon 9 rocket

Iridium, a company out of McLean, Virginia, worked with SpaceX to launch the first of 10 new satellites on the Falcon 9 rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

In a statement on SpaceX's website this week, the company said the investigation showed that the explosion was caused by the failure of a vessel full of helium, used to maintain tank pressure inside the rocket's liquid oxygen tanks.

"All systems are go for launch next week", Musk tweeted on Thursday.

"The FAA has not yet issued a license to SpaceX for a launch in January", Price added.

SpaceX hasn't attempted to launch a rocket since September 1, when the exercise ended in disaster.

"The FAA accepted the investigation report on the Amos 6 mishap and has closed the investigation", the spokesperson wrote in an email to Spaceflight Now. But Noozhawk reported that the delay of at least one day will likely bring the launch time forward by a few minutes to ensure the correct placement in space of the satellites the rocket will carry. In a static fire test, the rocket is fueled and ignited, but the lock down clamps remain in place so the rocket stays on the pad. The company is now ready for yet another launch.

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Currently, SpaceX has about 70 launches in its order book, estimated to be worth over $10 billion.

Post the explosion of the Falcon 9 booster along with Facebook's Internet.org satellite, the aviation agency had been very anxious about the safety of the payloads as well as individuals working on this project.

On Jan. 2, SpaceX announced that, after a thorough investigation that spanned four months, and with help from the FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and several experts, the company may have finally found the cause of the explosion in September.

SpaceX will be launching 10 Iridium NEXT satellites for its return-to-flight mission. The company initially announced plans for a January 8 launch, but was later pushed back by a single day after gaining approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Should that push forward, the Falcon 9 will be carrying a commercial communications satellite and may also launch cargo to the International Space Station on February 8.

The license also allows SpaceX to land the first stage on a droneship at sea in the Pacific Ocean.


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