Well, we were all geared up for SpaceX launching its first rocket in five months today (originally scheduled for yesterday). But, in the run-up to the launch, high winds and rains have resulted in SpaceX delaying it to no earlier than Saturday, January 14.
The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket, carrying 10 satellites for telecommunications company Iridium, would have taken place from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. However, a poor weather forecast led to the delay.
This will be SpaceX’s first attempt at launching since that infamous explosion back on September 1, 2016. SpaceX recently completed a review of the explosion, which found that an accumulation of oxygen in a helium pressure vessel during a routine ground test led to the rocket rapidly exploding in just 93 milliseconds.
“The accident investigation team worked systematically through an extensive fault tree analysis and concluded that one of the three composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs) inside the second stage liquid oxygen (LOX) tank failed,” SpaceX said in a statement.
In the short term, SpaceX has got around this problem by increasing the temperature of helium being pumped into the rocket. In the future, they are going to redesign the composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs) to prevent this from happening again.
When the rocket does eventually launch, it will be SpaceX’s first flight since the JCSAT-16 satellite on August 14, 2016.