SpaceX launches 10 satellites from Vandenberg AFB

James Marshall
June 26, 2017

SpaceX launched 10 Iridium NEXT satellites using its Falcon 9 rocket on Sunday into low-Earth orbit.

Team Vandenberg teamed up with SpaceX for the successful launch of the Falcon 9. SpaceX also succeeded to land the Falcon 9 first rocket on the ocean-based barge despite the complicated weather conditions. The latest event comprised of 10 new satellites for Iridium that will uplift Iridium's NEXT constellation mission. From his Twitter, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk noted that the first stage booster would be experiencing overwhelming pressure and heat upon reentry burn, hindering any chances for a third re-flight.

SpaceX rocket launches will be in line with the IridiumNEXT, in preparation for the launches, the American aerospace manufacturer conducted a static fire test on June 20.

The company, however, dusted itself off and moved on, making history in March when it successfully reused its rocket to launch a commercial communications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit.

On Friday, the Falcon 9 Full Thrust sent Bulgaria's first geostationary communications satellite into orbit from Florida's Kennedy Space Center, before touching down on SpaceX's east-coast drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You", stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. "Rocket is extra toasty and hit the deck hard (used nearly all of the emergency crush core), but otherwise good", Musk said after Friday's landing. Musk said the updated Falcon 9 "should be capable of an indefinite number of flights with no service".

Iridium Next has many goals.

By refurbishing used rockets, the company is able to save tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars to build custom rockets for each mission. The company has completed two back-to-back missions successfully. By that time SpaceX will have use of four launch pads, two in Florida with Pad 39A and LC-40 when it is repaired, SlC-4E at Vandenberg and a new launch pad at the under construction SpaceX launch facility in Texas near Brownsville. Originally, Friday's launch was scheduled for last weekend, but due to a technical issue, it was postponed, notes The Verge.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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