SpaceX’s last rocket launch went up in flames, quite literally, the Falcon 9 rocket that was carrying food and supplies to the International Space Station exploded shortly after launch. Since then all SpaceX launches have been halted as the company launched a thorough investigation into the incident, and now it’s confident to resume launches, it’s planning to launch another Falcon 9 on December 19th.
This time around the rocket is carrying 11 satellites for Orbcomm, a telecommunications company based in New Jersey, it will deliver the payload into the lower Earth orbit. It’s going to be the first flight for Falcon 9 in about six months.
Launch timing was confirmed by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk who tweeted that the company is aiming for a Falcon rocket static fire from Cape Canaveral on December 16th, “launch about three days later,” that would be lift-off is likely on December 19th.
As for what caused the previous rocket to explode, according to Musk the explosion was caused by a faulty steel strut in the fuel tank of the rocket, a component that has performed as it should in countless previous flights. It was later revealed that from now on all struts in the fuel tanks will be individually tested prior to each flight.
As previously reported this time around SpaceX is going to try and land the rocket back on solid ground. Instead of going with a floating barge the company will be making this attempt at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The attempts comes soon after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced that his private space company Blue Origin had successfully landed a reusable rocket on solid ground.