Science doesn’t stop, even in the face of serious technical difficulties and explosions. Such is the case for SpaceX, which is finally ready to launch its interstellar rocket, Falcon 9. If this sounds a bit familiar, it should; originally the rocket was scheduled to launch back in December of 2016. Unfortunately, some serious complications delayed what would have been a major moment in SpaceX history. After the dust has settled (and a new date for the launch has been confirmed), SpaceX is finally ready to explain just went wrong with their last launch.
SpaceX is an innovative and exciting aerospace business, headed by billionaire Elon Musk. But even a company with such an impressive pedigree can run into setbacks, and in September 2016, SpaceX had to deal with the fallout when one of its rockets exploded during a test flight. Immediately all further launches were delayed while scientists and engineers went to work on identifying the problem and preventing it from causing further complications.
In an interview with CNBC, Musk was fairly vague about the reasons behind the explosion. He did state that supercooled solid oxygen and liquid helium, combined with the carbon-fiber material that makes up the rocket, had caused the mechanical failure. Beyond that, no details were forthcoming about the explosion that blasted SpaceX’s rocket schedule for the rest of 2016.
Fast forward to 2017, and SpaceX says it is back on track. The Falcon 9 rocket is set to launch, with 10 separate satellites from a host of customers prepped and prepared to go. But it seems that the universe is not feeling kindly disposed towards the company; weather issues have forced another delay. Right now the Falcon will take flight on January 14th, the next day approved by Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. It remains to be seen if the launch will be a success, or if foul weather (and technical difficulties) will once again cause problems for the SpaceX team.