SpaceX launch postponed, again. This time for weather, and ULA scheduling conflicts

A 2014 photo of SpaceX's first attempt at recovering Falcon 9's booster. (Steve Jurvetson/Flickr)

SpaceX just got the FAA licensing necessary for the long-awaited launch of the Iridium NEXT satellites, but this time, weather’s gotten in the way.

The California-based aerospace company, founded by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, tweeted Sunday that due to weather and range conflicts, the new launch target will be Saturday, Jan. 14 at 10:54 a.m. MST:

After a September explosion destroyed a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and its $200 million payload, the company, in partnership with the FAA, launched into a four month long investigation that just closed Monday.

During the investigation, SpaceX hoped for a December 2016 launch. It was pushed back first to Sunday, Jan. 8, then again to Monday, Jan. 9.

SpaceX has previously released statements thanking its partners, including Iridium, for their continued support throughout the ordeal.

Iridium NEXT is a constellation of 10 mobile communications satellites–the first of 70 planned to launch through the end of 2018. The satellites will replace Iridium’s aging satellites, currently still in orbit.

And that conflict mentioned in SpaceX’s tweet? It’s the pre-launch testing for a Jan. 26 launch by Centennial-based United Launch Alliance. According to SpaceFlight Now, United Launch Alliance has booked the range in advance of launching a government intelligence gathering satellite later this month.

As for Iridium? CEO Matt Desch is optimistic.

United Launch Alliance is a joint venture between Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Boeing Defense, Space & Security. The Centennial-based partnership formed in December 2006 to provide launch services to the U.S. government.

Multimedia business & healthcare reporter Chloe Aiello can be reached via email at caiello@denverite.com or twitter.com/chlobo_ilo.

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