Iridium Communications, Inc. CEO Matt Desch is not sure when Space X will launch their Iridium NEXT satellite following the Falcon 9 explosion on Sept. 1. But He is still confident with Space X.
According to Spaceflight Now, Desch said during a quarterly earnings conference call that he doesn't want to speculate on the timing until Space X clears the rocket for launch. "Also, I don't know if Iridium NEXT [satellite] will be SpaceX's first launch once they return to flight or whether they might schedule a launch from Florida ahead of us."
Desch, though, is they could do it this year "However, I remain hopeful that they'll return to launching this year," he said.
Iridium's new satellite fleet will fly spread out in planes 485 miles or 780 kilometres above the Earth in polar orbit. This would enable it to have global communications coverage.
Space X's Falcon 9 rocket exploded on its launch pad in Florida on Sept 1. The company had launched an investigation following the explosion and believed they had found the reason why it happened.
Space X said their rocket exploded due to a high-pressure gas tank inside the rocket's upper stage. This tank most likely burst due to the conditions of the helium-loaded into the tank.
This finding makes it easier for the company to come up with solutions to fix the issue. Space X's engineers could just adjust how the helium gas is loaded into the rocket to resolve the issue.
According to Pulse Headlines, Desch is confident about the investigation that Space X is doing. He said his company is part of the accident investigation team and is confident Space X "is conducting a very thorough process."
He said that he's not sure when Space X will launch their Iridium NEXT satellite following the explosion. But they are confident in the outcome of the investigation that Space X is conducting.