Gwynne Shotwell, president of rocket launch company SpaceX, says the rocket will not be returning to work anytime soon. A SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket suffered a catastrophic failure when a metal strut fractured on June 28th.
“We’re taking more time than we originally envisioned, but I don’t think any one of our customers wants us to race to the cliff and fail again,” Shotwell said at a discussion at the AIAA Space 2015 conference in Pasadena, California, on August 31st.
She told delegates that SpaceX is a couple of months away from its next flight.
Previously, SpaceX founder Elon Musk had expressed the wish that the rockets would return to work in September.
SpaceX has a very strong manifest of launches in a 60 satellite queue of customers.
One client is SES which has already suffered delays to its much-needed SES-9 satellite which now seems unlikely to see a launch before November. SES’s dilemma is further compounded by the fact that SES-9 is an all-electric satellite which uses its own on-board electric thrusters to lift it to its final geostationary orbit. This process takes about 6 months, which means that SES-9 is unlikely to make any financial contributions before the middle of 2016.