SpaceX wins FAA clearance for return to flight

SpaceX Falcon 9
A closeup shows the fairing of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in January 2016. (NASA Photo)

SpaceX has the all-clear to return its Falcon 9 rocket to flight next week after a four-month suspension due to a launch-pad explosion.

The go-ahead came in the form of a launch license issued today by the Federal Aviation Administration for SpaceX’s launch of 10 advanced Iridium Next telecommunication satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Also today, the FAA said it has accepted the results of SpaceX’s report on the loss of a Falcon 9 and its Amos-6 satellite payload on Sept. 1 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, and “has closed the investigation.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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