Way back in 2012, Falcon 9 made history when it delivered Dragon into the correct orbit for rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS). Falcon 9 was all set to make its return on January 9 to launch 10 Iridium NEXT satellites in an instantaneous launch window from Space Launch Complex at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. But bad weather forced SpaceX to postpone the launch to January 14. “Launch moving due to high winds and rains at Vandenberg. Other range conflicts this week results in next available launch date being Jan 14”, tweeted SpaceX. January 14 launch will be really crucial for Space X, given the fact that an unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 had exploded on September 1 last year in Cape Canaveral. The explosion had destroyed Facebook’s satellite, which Facebook was to use to beam high-speed internet to Africa.
SpaceX Falcon 9 launch on Jan 14: Why the launch is a big deal for Elon Musk
Elon Musk hopes that the upcoming launch, if successful, will put Space Exploration Technologies Corp’s (commonly known as SpaceX) ambitious plans back on track. The September explosion was not the only disaster that SpaceX has to live with – a Falcon 9 rocket had failed after liftoff on June 28, 2015, destroying a Dragon cargo capsule bound for International Space Station. Both the explosions have cost SpaceX dearly – the 2015 disaster cost the company $260 million. The company’s reputation is at stake. To win back the trust, SpaceX has to get Jan 14 launch right.
A successful launch is all the company needs right now to get its ambitious plans back on track. Owing to the recent explosions and launch failures, SpaceX has already missed on several lucrative launches, which would have brought in more than $370million in revenues. Falcon 9’s successful launch on Jan 14 will likely bring back the confidence levels and keep the team motivated for taking on SpaceX’s ambitious plans.
SpaceX had earlier scheduled the return of Falcon 9 flight for November 2016. It was then pushed to mid-December before being pushed to January 9, 2017. And just when everything seemed right on track, the launch was postponed again due to bad weather. Falcon 9 is all set for liftoff on January 14, 2017. Let’s hope Elon Musk gets this one right!