Private space company Ilona Mask set a goal to launch 10 communications satellites into orbit from California on Saturday morning.
SpaceX hopes to resume its Falcon 9 flying missiles on Saturday and launch 10 satellites for Iridium from the Vanderberg military air base in California.
The rockets were grounded after the explosion on September 1 at the launch site in Florida. This is the second accident of the company since the debut of Falcon 9 in 2010.
SpaceX conducted a standard test on the eve of the launch of the 29th Falcon 9, when the launch vehicle caught fire, destroying an Israeli satellite at the cost of $ 200 million, which was supposed to be in orbit two days later.
The company investigated design errors that caused cold liquid nitrogen to seep between the aluminum gasket and the carbon outer coating from the helium canister. Three such canisters are placed inside the tank with liquid oxygen, which maintains the pressure in the tank. Extreme cold led to an explosion.
SpaceX cools liquid oxygen to minus 341 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it denser and holds more material in the tank. Missiles need extra fuel to return to Earth to re-launch. This is a key company strategy to reduce startup costs. In the end, experts plan to redesign the helium canisters to avoid “friction ignition”. Also, the company will change the way of refueling missiles. As a precautionary measure, pre-launch was conducted without satellites.
Iridium waited months to deliver the 70 new satellites that make up the next generation mobile network. This week, the team made the last preparations so that it could launch on Saturday at 12:54 pm Eastern Time.
“We're ready,” executive director Iridium Matt Dash wrote on Twitter.
The new satellites have been upgraded and will eventually replace the existing Iridium network providing voice communications and data transmission throughout the world.
Updated refueling procedures will not affect the attempt to lower the rocket onto the platform in the Pacific Ocean. The company does not have permission to land on the Vanderberg base.
Already two rockets landed on the landing site at Cape Canaveral station in Florida and four on platforms in the ocean. SpaceX hopes to restart one of the launch vehicles this year.