US commercial space company SpaceX has announced that it intends to resume launches on 8 January following the explosion of a Falcon 9 rocket on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station during a pre-launch test on 1 September.

The company believes that it has now identified the cause of the explosion as due to the failure of a high-pressure helium tank used to pressurise the second stage liquid oxygen tank. The 8 January launch will carry an Iridium communications satellite into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

4 January 2017