The most anticipated SpaceX rocket launch will be delayed a day longer than scheduled. The return to flight for Falcon 9 was postponed to Monday, Jan. 9. The one-day delay is to give way for the SpaceX crew to conduct a countdown rehearsal and engine test firing at Vandenberg.
The said engine test was supposedly planned for Tuesday, Jan 3. However, it didn't occur according to company employees. In the test, the engines will be ignited while the rocket is anchored in the launch pad and will be turned off seconds later.
SpaceX officials previously announced that the original flight scheduled should be Sunday, Jan. 8 at 10:28 a.m. However, the new notice given to mariners and pilots the SpaceX rocket launch will be a day late according to The Tribune. Officials at Vandenberg sends notices about the areas mariners and pilots should avoid as a precaution before each launch. The launch time is expected to be a few minutes earlier.
The return to flight for Falcon 9 has already been delayed multiple times. In September, a glitch in the rocket design caused an explosion during a similar engine test. A few weeks after the incident the company announced the launch will be scheduled in November. It was then rescheduled to December and January dates.
"The FAA has received the mishap investigation report from SpaceX and it is under review," Hank Price, spokesman for the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation, said on Wednesday, Jan. 4, according to The Tribune. "The FAA has not yet issued a license to SpaceX for a launch in January," he said.
However, CNN reported that SpaceX remains optimistic about the issue. Price added that FAA will continue to work with the company for future launches. Aside from Falcon 9, another major SpaceX rocket launch is on the way this 2017. The company is planning the inaugural launch its heavy-lift rocket, the Falcon Heavy.