SpaceX, which on September 1st lost a valuable satellite in an explosion aboard one of its Falcon 9 rockets, is reportedly ready to return to flight operations.
The rocket company said that it had managed to replicate the failure of the pressured Helium storage tank, thought to be the cause of the explosion. A Spacecom-owned satellite, Amos-6 satellite was lost in the fire.
“The root cause of the breach has not yet been confirmed, but attention has continued to narrow to one of the three composite overwrapped pressure vessels inside the [liquid oxygen] tank,” SpaceX said in a new statement.
Gwynn Shotwell, president & CEO, speaking earlier in October, said the company had “homed in” on the likely problems, and has always maintained that SpaceX would probably be launching again in November and certainly prior to year-end.
Josh Brost, SpaceX’s director of government business development, speaking last week at an American Astronautical Society event, said that the company was within a month from re-opening Launch Complex 39A at Cape Canaveral for Falcon 9 launches. “39A is where we’ll return to flight on the East Coast, hopefully later this year,” he said.