SpaceX Gets Ready For Relaunch On Jan. 30, Plans To Launch At NASA's Kennedy Space Center
SpaceX will be launching again for the EchoStar Corp. It will be riding on the company's Falcon 9 rocket. The private space company is planning to use its new launchpad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC), after midnight on Jan. 30, 2017.
The upcoming launch will be Elon Musk's SpaceX's first from NASA's historic Launch Complex 39. It is previously used by the Saturn V moon rockets and space shuttles.
Back in 2014, SpaceX signed a 20-year lease with NASA, for the company to use the pad for the Falcon 9 and future Falcon Heavy rockets. The company has not said how much it has spent for the refurbishments, according to Long Room.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 15, 2017
According to a Space.com report, it takes fresh urgency for the company to get Launchpad 39A ready after the Falcon 9 rocket burst into flames on what had been the private space company's primary launchpad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS). It is located just in the south of KSC in Florida's Space Coast.
The accident last Sep. 1 destroyed the rocket and the Israeli communications satellites worth $200 million it was supposed to drop into orbit. Also, it caused heavy damage of the launchpad. Thus, SpaceX has not yet disclosed the repair costs.
Despite the explosions, the company successfully returned flight last Jan. 14. The Falcon 9 rocket blasted off at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with 10 satellites for Iridium Communications Inc. During the mission, the first stage of the rocket also came down for a successful landing on a robotic "drone ship" that is stationed in the Pacific Ocean.
The Federal Aviation Administration, which is responsible for the U.S. commercial launches, has not yet issued a license for the EchoStar flight and a possible landing of the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage.