Elon Musk’s SpaceX plans to launch a rocket by December, an massively important new milestone six months after a rocket exploded while on its way to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.
That investigation into the mishap is ongoing months after the June 28 fiery crash, a major setback for the firm which has been sending cargo to the ISS over a series of private contracts with NASA, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
SpaceX is scheduled to deliver a report to the Federal Aviation Administration on the mishap sometime next month, just weeks before it plans to embark on another attempt at the ISS.
Musk blamed the explosion on a steel strut about two feet long, which was responsible for holding helium-filled bottles in the second stage of the rocket. To fix the problem, SpaceX will test every strut rather than rely on the certification from the subcontractor.
It will be another major milestone for SpaceX because it is the first flight of the upgraded version of the Falcon 9 rocket.
The Falcon 9 has a very good record of success up until the June incident, with 18 successful flights under its belt.
It also wasn’t the only company to struggle on a recent flight. Last October, a rocket in Virginia built by Orbital ATK was scheduled to send supplies to the ISS on behalf of NASA, but it exploded spectacularly shortly after liftoff, barely getting off the ground before it turned into a giant fireball.
Virgin Galactic lost SpaceShipTwo during a test flight high in the atmosphere. The crash killed one of two pilots.
Elon Musk has burst onto the scene in recent years as a technological innovator. Besides SpaceX, he is also the owner of Tesla, which is pioneering the first fully electric cars and attempting to make them commonplace in the auto market.