Published: Mon, April 02, 2018
Sci-tech | By Lila Blake

SpaceX rocket carrying communications satellites blasts off in California

SpaceX rocket carrying communications satellites blasts off in California

This was the fifth set of 10 satellites in a series of 75 total satellites that SpaceX will launch for Iridium's next generation global satellite constellation, Iridium® NEXT.

On Friday, SpaceX launched it's Falcon 9 rocket with 10 Iridium satellites from the Vandenberg Air Force Based in California precisely at 7:13:51 am PDT. And last December, Iridium became the first SpaceX customer to launch a mission on a rocket it used before when the Iridium-4 mission launched with the same booster SpaceX used to launch 10 other satellites on its Iridium-2 flight in June 2017.

What makes this launch extra special is that it was carried out by a used Falcon 9 rocket.


That rocket is scheduled to lift off Monday afternoon from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

And, SpaceX has done it all so far using a total of just three rockets.

While SpaceX typically provides live video of its non-classified launches through payload separation, SpaceX ended Friday's video feed shortly before the rocket's second-stage engine stopped firing.


"We're working with NOAA to address these restrictions in order to hopefully be able to bring you live views from orbit in the future".

It was not immediately clear why a remote sensing license was an issue for SpaceX on Friday's mission when SpaceX has live streamed the launch of previous missions without issue. Space.com has reached out to SpaceX and NOAA for clarification.

While the firm planned to recover half of the payload fairing using the "Mr Steven" boat, which is described a giant webbed catcher's mitt, Elon Musk has since revealed the fairing missed its target and crashed into the ocean. Eight minutes after the launch, the second stage engine cutoff was confirmed. Since the older satellites had overperformed excessively, Iridium made a decision to invest a fortune of $3 billion to upgrade its services and increase subscribers base and to offer seamless and uninterrupted data, voice, and other services unlike others falling to meet the needs of the customers. The mobile voice and data communications company's final launches of this $3 billion satellite replacement project are expected to happen by the end of 2018.


SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter the fairing "impacted water at high speed", without confirming explicitly if the landing was successful or not.

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