"We're excited to launch the first batch of our new satellite constellation. We have remained confident in SpaceX's ability as a launch partner throughout the Falcon 9 investigation," Matt Desch, the chief executive officer at Iridium said in a statement. "We are grateful for their transparency and hard work to plan for their return to flight. We are looking forward to the inaugural launch of Iridium NEXT, and what will begin a new chapter in our history."
On September 1, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded during a highly-publicized launch at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The entire rocket was engulfed in a massive fireball due to supercooled oxygen reacting to the carbon fiber in the fuel tank.
“It was a really surprising problem,” SpaceX founder Elon Musk told CNBC of the explosion. “It’s never been encountered before in the history of rocketry.”
Nobody was injured by the explosion, but a $200-million Space Communication Ltd satellite was destroyed.
The December launch will take place at Vandenberg Air Force Base, approximately three hours north of Los Angeles, at 12:36 p.m. local time.