Millennium Meet Falcon? SpaceX Aims for Return to Flight Next Week

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It is of course likely no more than coincidence, but SpaceX appears set to resume flights of the Falcon 9 on the same weekend its namesake roars back to life in theaters around the world. Apparently burning the midnight oil, company founder Elon Musk tweeted the following early this morning.

If the schedule holds, and that’s a big if considering all that is at stake, the upgraded Falcon 9 would lift off on Saturday or Sunday carrying 11 Orbcomm OG2 satellites to low Earth orbit.

It will be the first flight since the CRS-7 mission to ISS ended in a spectacular failure high over Cape Canaveral on June 28th, stunning a space community which had grown accustomed to seeing SpaceX record one successful launch after another. From a business standpoint, the mid-air breakup, which was attributed to a failed strut supporting a helium bottle in the vehicle’s second stage, wrecked havoc on what was to have been the company’s break-through year in reaching the launch tempo required to meets its growing manifest.

SpaceX has yet to clarify whether or not the Orbcomm mission, which will be the first for an upgraded version of the booster dubbed V1.2 , will also include an attempted return to land at Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 13, now renamed Landing Complex 1. Musk has previously indicated he would like to see this flight include such a return, but it is not clear whether or not his company would receive a first of its kind permit in time.

More as this develops…

Posted in: SpaceX

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