By Andy Pasztor
Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has delayed a planned return to flight for another week owing to bad weather and predictions of continuing storms around a central California launch complex.
The latest schedule calls for blastoff of a Falcon 9 rocket, carrying 10 satellites for Iridium Communications Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208839949/composite IRDM -2.73% , from Vandenberg Air Force Base next Saturday morning. The backup date is the following day.
SpaceX's September Launchpad Explosion: Why It Happened
SpaceX has identified the likely variables that led to the launchpad explosion of its Falcon 9 rocket back in September. In the next week, the company is expected to attempt its first launch since that accident took place. Photo: U.S. Launch Report
The launch is intended to resume Falcon 9 flights following a nearly five-month hiatus, stemming from a September explosion during routine ground testing that wrecked a booster, damaged a launchpad and destroyed a $200 million commercial telecommunications satellite.
Next weekend’s flight is believed to be carrying the heaviest combined payload lofted into space by Southern California-based SpaceX, as the company is called. Closely held SpaceX is aiming to use the opportunity to reassure commercial and U.S. government customers about the reliability of its rocket fleet.
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