by Staff Writers
Los Angeles (AFP) June 25, 2017
The American company SpaceX on Sunday successfully placed 10 satellites for the communications company Iridium into orbit using a Falcon 9 rocket.
After launching as scheduled from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 1:25 pm local time (2025 GMT), the Falcon 9's first stage returned less than eight minutes after taking off.
As planned, it landed on a barge floating in the Pacific Ocean.
SpaceX has successfully landed multiple rockets on both land and water, as part of its effort to bring down the cost of space flight by re-using multimillion dollar components instead of jettisoning them in the ocean after launch.
It was the second series of Iridium satellites launched by SpaceX, after a set of 10 were delivered in January.
In total SpaceX, which is headed by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, will launch a series of 75 satellites for Iridium's satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT by 2018.
The $3 billion project is a bid to upgrade the Virginia-based Iridium's global communications network.
Miami (AFP) June 5, 2017
SpaceX's first-ever recycled spaceship arrived Monday at the International Space Station, two days after the unmanned Dragon cargo capsule launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Live images on NASA television showed the spaceship approaching the orbiting outpost, then being grabbed with the station's robotic arm at 9:52 am (1352 GMT). "Capture complete," said NASA ... read more
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