SpaceX Says Rockets to Remain settled Until January


The company had hoped to launch a Falcon 9 rocket on December 16 to put 10 satellites into orbit for Iridium Communications Inc., but did not receive a required license to fly from the Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees US commercial space transportation.

“We are finalizing the investigation into our September 1 anomaly and are working to complete the final steps necessary to safely and reliably return to flight, now in early January,” SpaceX said in a statement.

SpaceX suspended flights after one of its rockets burst into flames on September 1 as it was being fueled for a routine pre-launch test in Florida.

The company traced the explosion to a fueling system problem that caused a pressurized container of helium inside the rocket’s upper stage to burst.
The accident destroyed a $200 million satellite owned by Israel’s Space Communication Ltd.

In a separate statement Iridium said it remained “confident as ever in (SpaceX’s) ability to safely deliver our satellites into low-Earth orbit.”

SpaceX on Wednesday declined to comment about what measures it will take to ensure the problem will not reoccur.

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