20:35 GMT +327 May 2018
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    A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket

    Three Months After Rocket Explosion SpaceX Plans to Fly Again

    © AP Photo / John Raoux
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    SpaceX is set to take off again on December 16, just three months after their Falcon 9 rocket violently exploded during a test run.

    The rocket will be carrying ten global satellite-constellation systems for Iridium Communications Inc. into low-earth orbit.

    "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.


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