After four months of investigation, the FAA granted SpaceX its long awaited license Friday for its launch of the Iridium NEXT, a series of 10 satellites for Iridium Communications. The launch has been postponed again, until Monday, Jan. 10.
The license, which expires Jan. 5, 2019, grants SpaceX authority to launch seven Falcon 9 launches from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, but with a couple conditions.
In closing its investigation Monday, SpaceX found the September explosion that destroyed a $200 million Amos-6 satellite, was caused by buckling in the interior lining of a composite over-wrapped pressure vessel (COPV).
The company has outlined both short-term and long-term fixes for the problem, but the FAA took care to implement some special reporting requirements as a condition of the launch license.
“…SpaceX must identify any anomaly occurring on a prior Falcon 9 launch that could be material to public safety, no less than 15 days before any flight conducted under this license…” the license reads.
In a Monday press release, SpaceX expressed their gratitude to their various launch partners throughout the investigation process.
“SpaceX greatly appreciates the support of our customers and partners throughout this process, and we look forward to fulfilling our manifest in 2017 and beyond.”
As for Iridium, they seem pretty excited about the update:
The launch is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 9, at 10:22 a.m. PST at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California.
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