Financial results for 2016, when the company lost another rocket on the launch pad during a static fire test, were kept secret, but are likely to be similarly grim, The Wall Street Journal reported. This launch is crucial for the company and if everything goes according to plan then it will be a huge confidence booster for SpaceX which has already had a stroke of bad luck past year. The company has since been able to determine the root cause for the failure. "To validate investigation analysis and findings, SpaceX conducted a wide range of tests at its facilities in Hawthorne, California and McGregor, Texas".
Since its debut, the Falcon 9 has provided a cheaper rocket than its incumbent competitors, allowing it to gain market share in at their expense. Owing to the recent explosions and launch failures, SpaceX has already missed on several lucrative launches, which would have brought in more than $370million in revenues. The other 60 will also ride Falcon 9 rockets to orbit out of Vandenberg, on a series of six more launches.
Tomorrow's rocket will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The report, which reviewed finances for SpaceX from 2011 through 2015, shows the aerospace company made a modest profit until its catastrophic accident in 2015.
First stage of a Falcon 9 coming in for a landing
Shortly afterward, the Federal Aviation Administration signed off on that investigation, approving the new licence for Saturday's launch. The Iridium satellite constellation is owned and operated by Iridium Communications, and provides both voice and data services across the globe. Landing on these drone ships is necessary whenever SpaceX has to launch into high or unusual orbits, since there wouldn't be enough fuel left to return to the launch site. While this isn't the first-ever drone ship landing, it's clearly another feather in Elon Musk's cap.
Eventually? They want to be able to land three of its Falcon Heavy boosters.
At the time, January 8 was the expected second launch window, which has been moved to today, January 14, 2017. Two more will be launched aboard a different rocket.
A successful mission is critically important to SpaceX, which is bouncing back from a September 1 launch pad explosion that destroyed a Falcon 9 and its payload, the $200 million Amos-6 communications satellite. The company has three rocket models - the Falcon 9, the Falcon Heavy, and the Dragon - that it now deploys on contract missions, such as delivering cargo supplied to the International Space Station for NASA.