In a tweet last 5 January, Elon Musk said: "All systems are go for launch next week."
Questions by many on the social media platform about the exact day of the launch were unanswered by Musk.
However, according to Space Coast Daily, the liftoff is scheduled for 7:28 A.M. EST on Monday, 9 January. But Noozhawk reported that the delay of at least one day will likely bring the launch time forward by a few minutes to ensure the correct placement in space of the satellites the rocket will carry. The report also cited Hank Price, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, who said FAA had not yet issued SpaceX a license to launch in January.
The listing of launch schedules on Spaceflight Now also mentions 9 January as the date for the Falcon 9 launch, but does not specify a time.
Following the completion of its investigation into the 1 September explosion, SpaceX still needs clearance from both FAA and NASA before it can resume flights.
For its part, Iridium seemed enthusiastic about the launch.
The upcoming launch is meant to put into orbit a constellation of 10 communication satellites for Iridium Communications, a McLean, Virginia, company. Due to delays caused by the Falcon 9 accident, which destroyed a US$ 200 million Spacecom satellite to be used by Facebook to provide internet coverage over Africa, some SpaceX clients have already shifted some business to other launch companies.
SpaceX has a backlog of over 70 launches at present, estimated to be worth over US$ 10 billion.