45th Space Wing Commander: “We are now working with General Thompson’s folks and SpaceX to see whether we can launch tomorrow."
Swedish startup Ovzon, which in October bought a Falcon Heavy launch from SpaceX, has now purchased a satellite for that mission from Maxar Technologies’ Space Systems Loral division.
The Air Force has not determined when it might allow reused hardware instead of brand-new Falcon 9 Block 5 rockets.
The new launch date, announced Dec. 7 by customer Iridium Communications, was driven by the additional two weeks SpaceX ended up needing to launch Spaceflight Industries’ “SmallSat Express” dedicated rideshare mission.
While a SpaceX commercial crew test flight might not launch on a date in early January previously announced NASA, both agency and company officials are optimistic the mission will still fly later in the month.
The failure of a Falcon 9 first stage to make its planned landing after a Dec. 5 launch shouldn’t affect plans for upcoming launches, a SpaceX executive said.
On the company’s 20th mission of the year and second within 48 hours, SpaceX successfully launched a Dragon cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station Dec. 5, but suffered a rare failed landing of the rocket’s first stage.
SpaceX has filed a license application with the FCC to cover testing at the company’s South Texas launch site of what may be the company’s next-generation launch vehicle.
NASA has set Jan. 7 as the date for the launch of the first commercial crew test flight, an uncrewed SpaceX Dragon spacecraft that will start a series of high-stakes missions over the next year.
NASA plans to carry out a review in the coming months of the safety practices at Boeing and SpaceX, an examination reportedly prompted by the actions of SpaceX founder Elon Musk.
SpaceX matched its personal best with its 18th launch this year, delivering the Es’hail-2 communications satellite to geostationary transfer orbit for Qatari operator Es’hailSat.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted Nov. 15 to approve four proposed satellite constellations, authorizing nearly 8,000 small telecom satellites to serve U.S. entities from low Earth orbit.