SpaceX delays rocket launch because of bad weather

Shown are the remnants of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which was destroyed along with its payload in a Sept. 1 explosion at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
(Red Huber / Florida Today via Associated Press)

SpaceX postponed a scheduled launch of its Falcon 9 rocket Sunday because of high winds and rain at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The launch would have been the company’s first since a launch-pad explosion destroyed another rocket last September at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

SpaceX said on its official Twitter account that the next available launch date at the base north of Lompoc, Calif., was Saturday.

Rain is expected at the Air Force base on the Central Coast through Thursday.


The plan Sunday was to carry 10 satellites into space for Iridium Communications Inc., which wants to establish a constellation of satellites to deliver mobile communications capabilities on land and on ships and airplanes.

The Hawthorne-based SpaceX and its chief executive, Elon Musk, had originally hoped to return to flight as soon as last November. But the investigation of its September explosion lasted longer than anticipated.

In its statement, SpaceX said the investigation team found “several credible causes” for the vessel’s failure, all of which involved the accumulation of oxygen in the rocket’s inner liners.

The explosion destroyed a satellite that was going to be managed by Israeli satellite operator Spacecom and was also to help Facebook bring high-speed Internet access to remote parts of Africa.

Twitter: @dhpierson