SpaceX Targets Next Mission December 16th From Vandenberg

Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX, the rocket company led by Elon Musk, is hoping to launch on its next mission on December 16th, launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base, just North of Santa Barbara. According to satellite constellation operator Iridium--best known for its satellite phones--it hopes to launch 10 Iridium NEXT satellites into low-earth orbit via the SpaceX Falcon on December 16th at 12:36pm PT. The launch is contingent on the FAA's approval for SpaceX to return to space after a catastrophic loss of a Falcon 9 in Florida on September 1st, which so far has blamed on issues with fueling procedures on the Falcon 9. Iridium says it expects to be the first company with a launch since the Cape Canaveral incident. SpaceX is not the only rocket launch provider which has been dealing with the uncertainty of getting to space; earlier today, a Russian Progress rocket, loaded with supplies for the International Space Station, was lost after launch in Kazakhstan.