Home >> Sci & Tech

SpaceX planning first Falcon 9 launch since September explosion on Dec. 16

SpaceX reportedly has picked a date for the first Falcon 9 rocket launch since September's launchpad explosion. Iridium Communications Inc. announced today that SpaceX plans to launch 10 small satellites into orbit for the company at 3:36PM ET on December 16.

The launch would take place from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, though SpaceX is still awaiting approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA, NASA, and the US Air Force are still investigating the September incident, and a full accident report should be released soon.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket exploded on a launchpad in Cape Canaveral, Florida, just days before it was scheduled to deliver the Amos 6 satellite to space. The satellite was also lost in the explosion.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in early November that his company determined helium tanks inside the Falcon 9 to be involved in the explosion.

Helium tanks were also involved in the company's June 2015 rocket failure, though SpaceX has said that the two incidents were not related.