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December 8th, 2016

SpaceX And Iridium Regroup And Issue Statement Regarding NEXT Launch Date

The launch of Iridium-1 has been re-established. Both Iridium and SpaceX made the announcement regarding the first Iridium NEXT launch date that will now be in early January. This comes after the explosion on the launch pad on September 1. 

SpaceX's statement is as follows, "We are finalizing the investigation into our September 1 anomaly and are working to complete the final steps necessary to safely and reliably return to flight, now in early January with the launch of Iridium-1. This allows for additional time to close-out vehicle preparations and complete extended testing to help ensure the highest possible level of mission assurance prior to launch.

Iridium's response is as follows, "Iridium supports SpaceX’s announcement today to extend the first Iridium NEXT launch date into early January, in order to help ensure a successful mission.  We remain as confident as ever in their ability to safely deliver our satellites into low Earth orbit."

Originally the launch, from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base, was scheduled for December 16. However, SpaceX while waiting approval from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, which oversaw the SpaceX-led investigation into the September 1 accident determined the date would be moved to early in January 2017.