SpaceX launches 10 more satellites for Iridium
by Staff Writers
Los Angeles (AFP) Dec 23, 2017
SpaceX on Friday blasted off a re-used Falcon 9 rocket carrying 10 satellites into orbit, its fourth launch toward a $3 billion upgrade to Virginia-based Iridium's mobile, voice and data network.
The rocket, part of which had flown on a previous Iridium launch in June, lit up the night sky as it launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 5:27 pm (0127 GMT Saturday), just after sunset.
Friday's payload, known as Iridium 4, brings to 40 the number of new Iridium satellites now in orbit.
A total of 81 are expected by the time the launches are complete for the global project, known as Iridium NEXT.
SpaceX will launch 75 of the 81 satellites.
"Iridium NEXT will replace the world's largest commercial satellite network of low-Earth orbit satellites in what will be one of the largest 'tech upgrades' in history," said a company statement.
Some of the satellites are designed to help track ships and aircraft in real time.
SpaceX did not attempt to land the first stage of its rocket after launch, as has become its common practice.
Los Angeles (AFP) Oct 9, 2017
SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket on Monday carrying 10 satellites to bolster the global data communications network for Virginia-based company, Iridium. The white rocket blasted off at 5:37 am (1237 GMT), before sunrise, from Vandenberg Air Force base in California. About seven minutes after launch, the tall portion of the Falcon 9, known as the first stage, returned to Earth for an u ... read more
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