SpaceX revitalizes program with improvements

SpaceX, the space exploration startup helmed by Tesla co-founder Elon Musk, revitalized its rocket program. The first occurred on Jan. 14, 2017. This is the first launch after the explosion of a rocket in August 2016.

SpaceX already received several orders for launches from big tech companies, including Facebook, NASA, and Iridium Communications Inc. According to the LA Times, SpaceX acquired new orders for several satellites. One order was from the satellite operator at Iridium Communications Inc. for five satellites. The satellites were scheduled to launch at SpaceX’s California base along with other satellites from NASA and the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences.

The company focus was to colonize Mars through reusable rockets. This would speed up production time and reduce the amount of “space junk.”

According to the company’s launch manifest, SpaceX launched 32 rockets in previous year, the last being in August. This rocket, a Falcon 9 rocket, exploded on the launch pad. The company took a five-month hiatus on launches to investigate the problem and fix it.

The first launch of 2017 was at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The launch purpose was to deliver an Iridium satellite to space.

The rocket used by SpaceX is called the Falcon 9. The Falcon 9 is a new rocket including many features. According to SpaceX, the Falcon 9 rocket was designed for the purpose of “reliable and safe transport” of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft and other satellites. The rocket is a two stage rocket that uses nine-first stage engines so that the Rocket can “safely complete its mission in the event of a shutdown.”