But the military won’t be using a reusable rocket anytime soon
Spanish satellite operator Hisdesat is trying to retrieve money it paid Kosmotras for a long-overdue Dnepr launch of a radar satellite that Hisdesat has rebooked on a SpaceX Falcon 9 for a flight late this year.
SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell says using Falcon 9 rockets with pre-flown first stages will enable the company to execute on its backlog, which is currently loaded with customers that expected to have their satellites launched in 2016.
That launch, of the SES-10 satellite, is planned before the end of March. Five more previously flown boosters are also planned later this year.
Delays in SpaceX’s launch schedule have led an aggregator of secondary payloads to find alternative rides for dozens of satellites it planned to fly on a Falcon 9.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 lifted off for the first time from a launch site at KSC previously used by Apollo and shuttle missions Feb. 19, placing a Dragon cargo spacecraft into orbit.
The first launch by SpaceX from an historic KSC launch pad will be delayed by at least a day after a technical problem scrubbed an attempted launch of a Dragon cargo spacecraft Feb. 18.
SpaceX said Feb. 17 that, other a technical issue with the upper stage of its Falcon 9 rocket, it is ready to perform its first launch from a historic launch pad here last used by the space shuttle more than five years ago.
A draft version of the report notes that engineers have found cracks in turbine blades in the turbopumps of the engines.
Iridium announced Jan. 31 it has purchased an additional Falcon 9 launch from SpaceX that the satellite services company will share with a German-U.S. Earth science mission.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, Jan. 14 and successfully delivered ten Iridium Communications satellites into polar orbit.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has issued a launch license to SpaceX for the upcoming return to flight of its Falcon 9, although its planned launch has been delayed by at least one day.
NASA awarded a contract to SpaceX Nov. 22 for the Falcon 9 launch of an Earth science satellite in 2021.
SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk said Nov. 4 he expects the Falcon 9 rocket to return to flight in the middle of December after overcoming a problem he claimed was unprecedented in the history of spaceflight.