View Full Version : SpaceX Hopes for Falcon 9 Return to Flight in November; Shotwell

2016-Sep-15, 04:10 AM
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, FL - Less than two weeks after a still mysterious launch pad explosion utterly destroyed a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket during testing on Sept. 1, the bold and seemingly undaunted firm is already setting its sights on a ‘Return to Flight’ launch as early as November of this year, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said Tuesday.
“We’re anticipating getting back to flight, being down for about three months, so getting back to flight in November, the November timeframe,” Shotwell announced on Sept. 13, during a panel discussion at the World Satellite Business Week Conference being held in Paris, France.
The Sept. 1 launch pad explosion took place without warning at SpaceX’s Space Launch Complex-40 launch facility at approximately 9:07 a.m. EDT on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fl.
Both the $60 million SpaceX rocket and the $200 million AMOS-6 Israeli commercial communications satellite payload were completely destroyed in a massive fireball that erupted suddenly during a routine and planned pre-launch fueling and engine ignition test at pad 40 on Sept. 1.
Shotwell also stated that the launch would occur from SpaceX’s other Florida Space Coast launch pad - namely the former Space Shuttle Launch Complex 39A on the Kennedy Space Center.
“We would launch from the East Coast on Pad 39A in the November timeframe. And then Vandenberg would be available ... for our other assorted customers,” Shotwell stated.
SpaceX has signed a long term lease with NASA to use Pad 39A.
Shotwell did not say which payload would be the first to launch.
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