[ January 8, 2017 ] Next SpaceX launch slipped to avoid stormy

[ January 8, 2017 ] Next SpaceX launch slipped to avoid stormy

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, which was scheduled to launch Monday, is now set to take off from Vandenberg Air Force Base on January 14, the company said Sunday.

The Hawthorne-based SpaceX and its chief executive, Elon Musk, had originally hoped to return to flight as soon as last November.

A months-long investigation determined that the blast was caused by the failure of a helium pressure vessel inside the rocket's second-stage liquid oxygen propellant tank.

The SpaceX rocket was briefly powered up on Thursday as part of a preflight engine test.

The Federal Aviation Administration signed off on the SpaceX investigation Friday, granting a license for all seven Falcon 9 launches planned to deploy the bulk of Iridium's next-generation satellite network.

The company's most recent launch attempt failed September 1 when a Falcon 9 rocket exploded on its launchpad, destroying both the rocket and its satellite payload, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

SpaceX plans to return to flight on Florida's Space Coast later this month.

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After placing the Iridium satellite constellation in its orbit, the Falcon 9 rocket will attempt to land on a floating barge, from where SpaceX will retrieve it so it can refitted and reused.

If there's a possible spanner in the works on the newly-confirmed Falcon 9 launch date, it may likely be inclement weather.

The launch, now scheduled for January 9, 10:22am PST, has been delayed because of foul weather.

A Falcon rocket will carry 10 Iridium Communications satellites into orbit. In an emailed statement, it said: "The FAA accepted the investigation report on the AMOS-6 mishap and has closed the investigation".

SpaceX's launch team will load warmer helium pressurant into the rocket to avoid a repeat of the failure, and the company said it intends to change the design of the COPVs in the future to precent buckles altogether.

Iridium, a Virginia-based global communications provider, has been patiently waiting since previous year for available taxis to space. SpaceX had announced the launch would be on Sunday last week, and has not yet given an update on the launch time or the delay.

Earlier indications of a almost weeks long launch delay from Monday, Jan. 9 to next Saturday morning, Jan. 14, were officially confirmed today, Jan. 8, by SpaceX and their Iridium Communications customer.