Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

SpaceX Will Have to Wait a Little Longer For Its Return to Flight

by Alyssa Newcomb /
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket makes a successful launch with the SES-9 communications satellite on March 4, 2016 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.NASA / NASA via Getty Images

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Four months after a launch pad explosion sidelined SpaceX, the company was ready to return to flight on Sunday.

There was just one little problem: the weather.

SpaceX was set to launch Iridium communications satellites into orbit on Sunday from Vandenberg Air Force Base. However, high winds and rain led to the decision to postpone the launch.

Related: SpaceX Explains September Explosion, Ready to Return to Flight

The next opportunity will be January 14 at 9:54 am, according to a tweet from SpaceX.

The launch was set to come one week after SpaceX shared the findings of an investigation into a launchpad anomaly in September, which destroyed an AMOS-6 communications satellite for a Facebook-Eutelsat joint venture, which would have brought internet access to underserved parts of the world.

The cause of the anomaly is complex. Chilled helium apparently caused carbon fibers and aluminum to cool at different rates in the second stage of the rocket. That created gaps between two layers of overwrap, where liquid oxygen escaped and got trapped.

This chain of events then led to the failure of one of the protective layers. Static ignited the trapped oxygen, setting off a chain of catastrophic explosions, SpaceX said.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
  • Contributors
  • Alex Johnson
MORE FROM news

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.