Back on June 28th a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket exploded shortly after take-off. Within a month SpaceX’s founder Elon Musk had spoken publicly about the cause “probably” being a failed support strut which held a canister of helium in place.
The failed rocket was carrying a cargo of supplies for the International Space Station.
The failure has meant a total suspension of all planned launches, and this is severely delaying an increasing number of clients waiting patiently for their satellites to be lofted into orbit.
October 8th saw Josh Brost, Director of Commercial Mission Management at SpaceX Technologies, tell delegates to an international spaceflight symposium in New Mexico that his firm doesn’t yet have a date as to when flights could resume.
He said a formal report would be sent to the USA’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) during the next month or so. The FAA officially licenses SpaceX’s launches.
Brost also confirmed that it was a failed strut that caused the explosion.
Clients with satellites waiting to be launched include SES (SES-9), Japan Satellite (JCSAT-14 and 16), Eutelsat (117 WB), ABS (2A), Thaicom and others. SES is likely to be the first passenger on a flight, and has spoken hopefully of a November launch. That now looks increasingly unlikely.