Washington, Jan 14 (IANS) The American SpaceX rocket company faces a crucial test on Saturday with its latest rocket launch – the first since a rocket exploded in a ball of flames last September on a Florida launch pad.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to blast off from the Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, California at 9.54 a.m. It is loaded with satellites to deploy in space, CBS News reported.
On September 1 during a pre-launch test at Cape Canaveral, Florida, a SpaceX Falcon 9 exploded on the launch pad, destroying the $62 million rocket and a nearly $200 million satellite.
Company founder Elon Musk called it the most difficult failure in SpaceX’s history.
Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, said a lot is at stake as the company rolls its new rocket to the launch pad in California.
“This will be a tough flight for us coming back after our event on September 1,” Shotwell told CBS News.
SpaceX said it has fixed the problem with the rocket’s helium tank that caused last year’s explosion.