SpaceX Launching Falcon 9 Rocket On Dec 19 After Elon Musk Has Identified Cause Of Explosion? Russia To Take Part In Launch?
SpaceX hopes to launch Falcon 9 just three months after one its rockets exploded on the Launchpad. The Federal Aviation Administration is set to give the green light after its review of the Sept 1 explosion where a Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The rocket exploded while having refuelling even before a test fire of its engines began.
The Falcon 9 rocket is an Israeli satellite worth $200 million and it should have been used by Facebook to provide internet services in Africa and other places where internet access is scarce. Iridium Communications' chief executive, Matt Desch, showed his confidence in the upcoming launch as his company has also taken part in the SpaceX investigation. He said that they are grateful for the transparency and hard work of the SpaceX to go back and send Falcon 9 to space.
Elon Musk, the chief executive of SpaceX, has said last November that they have already identified the cause of the Falcon 9 rocket explosion. He described the liquid oxygen that has flown into a second-stage tank had become frozen. This has set off a catastrophic sequence of events which lead to the explosion.
The Falcon 9 rocket which will carry 10 Iridium satellites will be transferred to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. It will be the second Launchpad of SpaceX. Iridium Communications is looking forward to SpaceX to launch the Iridium Next fleet. It has replaced Lockheed Martin-built satellites in the late 1990s. SpaceX is set to launch 70 Iridium satellites in the next seven missions.
Russia's Kosmotras Dnepr rocket is reported to also launch Iridium Next satellites but Russian regulatory process did not give their approval in time. To date, it is still not clear if Kosmotras will still take part in the launching of Iridium Next.