SpaceX Launch of NASA and Iridium Satellites Delayed Until May 22

SpaceX Successfully Launches Falcon 9 Block 5

SpaceX Launch of NASA and Iridium Satellites Delayed Until May 22

According to Iridium chief executive Matt Desch, Elon Musk's company needs the extra time to address a "minor processing issue" that came up while SpaceX was preparing one of the rocket's components.

The upcoming launch continues a long-standing relationship between Iridium and SpaceX; Falcon 9 rockets have already lofted 50 satellites for the communications company's Iridium Next constellation and will launch 75 of the craft over eight liftoffs when all is said and done.

Although Desch didn't elaborate on the nature of the problem, Spaceflight Now quotes the Iridium official as saying it was "not a big deal".

The launch is now targeted to take place at 12:47 p.m.

As the Inquisitr previously reported, the five Iridium NEXT satellites will be accompanying NASA's two GRACE-FO spacecraft, hitching a ride into space on the same SpaceX vehicle.

The announcement was made during a conference call on Monday, when Desch initially conveyed that the launch would be postponed for just two days. The Falcon 9 will launch these satellites as well.

As its name indicates, GRACE-FO follows in the footsteps of NASA's GRACE mission, which characterized Earth's gravitational field from orbit in great detail from 2002 to 2017. "Monitoring changes in ice sheets and glaciers, underground water storage and sea level provides a unique view of Earth's climate and has far-reaching benefits".

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