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The long-delayed return to flight of SpaceX’s Falcon rockets is likely to happen in December, according to Lee Rosen, SpaceX’s VP/mission and launch operations, speaking in Jerusalem this week.
The SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket exploded moments after lift-off on June 28th and has been identified as being caused by a failed strut on a high-pressure Helium tank which created the catastrophic explosion.
A number of satellite owners have been patiently waiting for the past four months for the rocket to be given the all clear and for launches to re-commence.
Top of the list is Luxembourg-based SES which is likely to see its SES-9 launched on a slow journey to geo-stationary orbit, and using a more powerful Falcon-9 ‘Heavy’ rocket.
The ‘slow’ journey to orbit is because SES-9 is an all-electric satellite and will thus take 4-6 months to reach its 108.2 deg East spot.
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.