SpaceX Set to Recommence Launches by November After Investigations: Shotwell

Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, SpaceX, recently received a setback from a pad blast earlier in the month but it is now aiming to resume its flights by November. This news came in after the recent launch pad fire destroyed its Falcon 9 rocket along with a communication satellite belonging to Israel.

The Israeli communications satellite was due to lift to the orbit as a part of the launch. The company suspended its services for Falcon 9 as a result of investigations about the fire caused by the satellite accident. 

In conference held in Paris, President Gwynne Shotwell stated: “We’re anticipating … being down for about three months, getting back to flight in the November timeframe.” The company, however, was not clear to the press on the repairs needed by the rocket to return back to the operations in November.

Moreover, Mr. Shotwell did not give any details on how damaged the launch pad damaged really was, and what was the damage to the support equipment at the ground. However, it did destroy $200 million satellite that was owned by the Israeli Space Communication.

Furthermore, SpaceX announced that its launch site at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre located in Florida is expected to finish in November. The launch pad was last used by NASA to launch space shuttles about five years ago. NASA stated that it had no reservations with SpaceX using the Kennedy space centre. The space agency is confident that SpaceX would come out of this accident and would recover from everything it went through.

Moreover, sources have stated that there were no changes made to the implementation and planning activities. The first flight to take place from this launch pad would be of Falcon 9 rocket and not previously scheduled introduction of Falcon Heavy. Moreover, the first Falcon Heavy flight is scheduled for first quarter of FY17. Falcon Heavy is considered as 27-engine version of its nine-engine Falcon 9. The customer to take part in the return flight mission remains unknown.

Moreover, Vandenberg site has also extended its support to aid the launch in November. Prior to the accident, the company had planned to launch another rocket in September. It currently has 70 missions or more in its backlog, worth $10 million. Therefore, SpaceX needs to resolve its problems soon. Earlier, 27 flights have successfully taken place using Falcon 9, while only one flight failed to meet its endpoint.