SpaceX could be grounded for up to 1 year after its Falcon 9 rocket explosion

The catastrophic explosion of one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster rockets earlier in the month could delay further launches for the private space company by up to 1 year, according to one of its primary competitors.

Tory Bruno, the president and CEO of rival space venture, United Launch Alliance (ULA), says that figuring out the causes of the SpaceX launch failure – to make sure it doesn’t happen again – may take Elon Musk’s company several months at the earliest.

“It typically takes nine to 12 months for people to return to flight,” Bruno told Irene Klotz at Reuters. “That’s what the history is.”

It’s worth bearing in mind that Bruno is the head of one of SpaceX’s most serious commercial competitors – meaning we need to take his comments with a grain of salt. Not only could he have a vested interest in telling the public that SpaceX could be grounded for the next year, but the remarks could also generate publicity for his own company in the process.

At present, SpaceX hasn’t commented on Bruno’s comments or explained how long the grounding time-frame may be, so we need to remain a little skeptical for now.