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SpaceX postpones next Falcon 9 launch following explosion

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The next Falcon 9 rocket launch on SpaceX's schedule has been postponed, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The launch was supposed to deliver NOAA's Jason-3 Earth observation satellite to orbit, and was scheduled for August 9th.

The announcement comes little more than 24 hours after SpaceX suffered its first mission failure when a Falcon 9 rocket exploded on its way to the International Space Station. Before that, SpaceX had completed 18 consecutive successful launches of its flagship rocket. The postponed Jason-3 launch was also supposed to be the next test of the Falcon 9's reusability.

A new launch date has not been set, but a NASA spokesperson tells The Verge that the agency is working with NOAA and SpaceX to find a new one. The agencies won't look for another launch provider while SpaceX conducts its internal review.

Update June 30th, 8:36AM ET: SpaceX has provided us with a comment on the delay of its upcoming missions.

Given the early stage of the investigation, we don’t yet know the specific impact Sunday’s mishap will have on future launches. We are working with our partners to prepare for potential delays on the order of a few months. Once the root cause is identified, we will be able to better determine any changes to future launch dates, including Jason-3.


International Space Station A time lapse of Earth from the ISS