The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch has been delayed by five days, to 14th of January, due to bad weather.
SpaceX’s rocket was scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Monday morning, January 9th, at 10:22.
[Image Source: Victorleon960/Pixabay]
Elon Musk, the owner of SpaceX, announced with a tweet on Sunday:
“Launch moving due to high winds and rains at Vandenberg. Other range conflicts this week results in next available launch date being Jan 14.”
The Falcon 9 will now be launched at 9:54 a.m. on January 14. The company has also set a backup date for one day after as well.
[Image Source: Unsplash/Pixabay]
The Falcon 9 is carrying 10 Iridium Communications satellites. “The Iridium team has been anxiously awaiting launch day, and we’re now all the more excited to send those first ten Iridium NEXT satellites into orbit,” Iridium CEO Matt Desch said in a statement.
Matt Desch tweeted on Sunday “Bad weather the cause. Anti-rain dances didn’t work – oh well. Cal needs rain?”
California has been bombarded with extreme weather conditions over the weekend. According to the National Weather Service, rain and gusty winds were expected on Sunday at California’s central coast and the San Francisco Bay Area. Certain areas were expected to receive over 10 inches of rain over the weekend.
On Friday 6 January, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorized SpaceX’s Commercial Space Transportation License. SpaceX launches had been suspended since 1 September 2015.
The suspension occurred following a massive explosion which took place during a prelaunch ttest at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The explosion destroyed the rocket, its $195 million payload, the launching equipment as well as a satellite owned by Facebook worth $95 million.
On January 2nd, SpaceX announced the conclusion of a four-month investigation following the explosion. The investigation concluded that the accident was most likely was the result of buckling in tanks which stored gaseous helium to pressurize propellant tanks.
SpaceX plans to prevent any future explosions by re-configuring its helium tanks as well as loading gas at a higher temperature.
On Friday the FAA stated that it “accepted the investigation report … and has closed the investigation.”
SpaceX hopes to launch again on January 26 at Kennedy Space Centre’s launch pad 39A in Florida.