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SpaceX back in business during November?

Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president, speaking at Euroconsult’s Paris Space Business Week, told delegates that despite not yet knowing what caused he September 1st ‘fireball’ anomaly, she was extremely hopeful that by November the rocket launch company would be back in business. “We have not got to the root cause just yet, but it is just 13 days since the incident.”

She admitted that the loss of a Falcon 9 rocket plus its Amos-6 satellite passenger was quite definitely bad news for her team, and that they were conducting numerous tests on the explosion, but Shotwell was nevertheless optimistic that in three months they would be launching from Pad 39A, and also launching a suite of satellites for Iridium from SpaceX’s Vandenberg Air Force Base facility.

But she also reminded conference delegates that SpaceX had successfully launched 9 times in 8 months, re-landed 6 times (and 4 on SpaceX’s floating barge). SpaceX had also competed for and won a major US government launch contract, and thus “broken the United Launch Alliance monopoly”.

Shotwell also said the September 1st fireball incident was not a launch failure and so was very unlikely to affect the cost of insuring future launches.

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