SpaceX Return Flight From California Delayed Due To Bad Weather
On Friday, Jan. 6, SpaceX has been cleared for the return launch of its Falcon 9 rocket from California -- the first in nearly five months. However, the bad weather in the area has pushed SpaceX's return-to-flight date back for another five days, to Jan. 14.
Rain is expected to coast through the Central Coast until Thursday, putting the next available launch date on Saturday. A statement as cited by Florida Today read, "With high winds and rain in the forecast at Vandenberg Air Force Base, the first launch of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites is now planned for January 14th at 9:54:34 am PST with a back-up date of January 15th."
The Los Angeles Times reported that SpaceX was supposed to carry 10 satellites into space for the Iridium Communications Inc., which was to launch a constellation of satellites that should deliver mobile communication capabilities on land, on ships and on airplanes. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk hoped to launch the flight by November last year, but the investigations regarding its September explosion took longer than he thought it would be.
The company's investigation team was said to have found "several credible causes" for its launch failure, which involved the accumulation of oxygen in its inner liners. The satellite that exploded was supposed to be managed by Israeli satellite operator Spacecom and was supposed to help Facebook bring high-speed Internet in remote areas in Africa.
Because of the failed launch, SpaceX is especially careful in its flights. If the next attempt goes well, SpaceX could perform its first launch from the Kennedy Space Center's Pad 39A as soon as Jan. 26, taking with it a commercial communications satellite. Then it could be followed with cargo to the International Space Station as soon as Feb. 8. The Launch Complex 40, however, still remains out of commission after SpaceX's September incident.