SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced Friday that the fledgling commercial space travel company hopes to resume space flight mid-December after halting launch operations in the aftermath of a devastating September explosion.
SpaceX is one of Centennial-based United Launch Alliance’s greatest competitors in the commercial space flight sector and a leading voice in the argument for entrepreneur-led space ventures.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket exploded during a routine prelaunch flight, destroying the rocket and its $200 million payload, and causing significant damage to the Cape Canaveral launch pad.
Musk called into CNBC Friday and announced his plans to resume launches in mid-December. He also spoke of headway made in the investigation of the recent explosion, which was suspected back in October to be the result of sabotage.
“I think we’ve gotten to the bottom of the problem,” Musk said. “It involves a combination of liquid helium, advanced carbon fiber composites and solid oxygen—it has never happened before in history so that’s why it took us a while to figure it out.”
Last year when SpaceX lost a rocket to an explosion in June, the program halted for six months, according to Reuters.
But this time, Musk seems eager to resume launches. At the time of the August explosion, SpaceX had had nine additional launches scheduled until the end of 2016, Space Flight Now reported.
And according to the the Wall Street Journal, SpaceX is still holding fast to its plan to send manned missions to orbit by 2018.
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