As most of us have seen SpaceX have suffered a number of delays recently, one of these was due to a customer concern, another due to a range failure. However the majority have been due to problems internal to SpaceX.
I have seen many posts complaining about these delays and the lack of information from SpaceX. If I am totally honest I have been one of those complaining.
However when I put my business hat on I can understand these delays and this article tries to explain them from an outsiders perspective.
First SpaceX is a private business and while Space Launches are exciting for the fans they are the revenue stream for SpaceX. SpaceX cannot afford to have a launch fail and any indication that something is not right on the vehicle could lead to that failure, therefore it makes sense to me that they would rather delay a little while investigating so they can be confident that the launch will be as successful as possible.
Second SpaceX is looking to expand into the lucrative Government contract business and while they have passed initial Certification requirements for Falcon 9 any failure could impact the changes of being award these regardless of the cost difference.
Third any failure would give fuel to all the detractors of SpaceX, and there are plenty of them still despite how successful SpaceX have been so far.
Fourth SpaceX are currently competing to launch crews on the same Falcon 9 rocket that is used today, any failure could impact the changes on this continuing.
So while it is frustrating for all of us who support SpaceX and the vision Elon Musk has for the future of cargo and manned spaceflight we also have to understand that there is far too much riding on each launch for them to ignore any concerns.
Recently SpaceX said they would not be Live Streaming the launches because they had become routine, however this isn’t the case as these delays have proven.