Earlier this month, one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster rockets exploded before take off. As a result, SpaceX might have to wait until September next year to attempt another launch. At least, so says rival space venture company United Launch Alliance (ULA) CEO Tory Bruno.
“It typically takes nine to 12 months for people to return to flight. That’s what the history is,” Bruno told Reuters.
SpaceX has not commented on Bruno’s statements, which may very well be a publicity spiel for ULA. Incidentally, Bruno’s ULA, which is a joint venture run by Lockheed Martin and Boeing—both industry giants—is on its 111th successful launch today.
In its most recent statement, SpaceX claims that “At the time of the loss, the launch vehicle was vertical and in the process of being fueled for the test.” To further analyze the problem, the company is reviewing “approximately 3,000 channels of telemetry and video data covering a time period of just 35–55 milliseconds.”
SpaceX will likely be releasing more statements in the coming days, and this story will update as new developments come forth. In any case, such set backs are expected. Rocket science isn’t easy.