SpaceX Invites Air Force to Join Investigation

SpaceX has invited the Air Force to take part in the company’s investigation into what caused its Falcon 9 rocket to explode early on Sept. 1. “While this was not a National Security Space launch mission, the [service] will continue working with SpaceX to ensure confidence in the safe and reliable launch of critical National Security Space satellites,” Lt. Gen Samuel Greaves, commander of the USAF Space and Missile Systems Center and program executive officer for space, said in a statement. The service did not disqualify SpaceX from National Security Space launches after another Falcon 9 rocket exploded in June 2015, and SpaceX is scheduled to launch a GPS III satellite in May 2018. An announcement regarding whether the launch will be delayed or go as planned has not been made. In a statement, NASA said it’s not clear whether the mishap will delay planned SpaceX launches to the International Space Station, but the agency remains “confident in our commercial partners” and the incident “is a reminder that spaceflight is an incredible challenge, but our partners learn from each success and setback.”