Report: SpaceX Grounded For Up To A Year, Says Competitor
Hawthorne-based SpaceX might be grounded for as long as a year, the company’s prime competitor–the United Launch Alliance–told Reuters on Thursday. According to a report, Tony Bruno, CEO of the ULA, said it “typically” takes nine to 12 months for companies to return to flight after an accident. The comments came a week after the destruction of a SpaceX Falcon 9, while it was still sitting on the launch pad. That Falcon 9 was undergoing refueling operations for a test fire, ahead of a planned launch of a communications satellite for Spacecom. Spacecom’s satellite was going to be used by Facebook to provide Internet access in Sub Saharan Africa. Spacecom is asking SpaceX for $50M or a free flight as compensation for the loss. SpaceX and ULA have been at odds, ever since Elon Musk and SpaceX filed suit against the U.S. Air Force for blocking SpaceX from lucrative government satellite launch contracts.