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Raumfahrt - Starvorbereitung für SpaceX SpaceX Falcon 9 mit Iridium-10 Satelliten im Juni

3.05.2017

SpaceX to launch 10 Iridium satellites from Vandenberg in June

SpaceX is targeting a June Falcon 9 launch from its West Coast facility at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base of 10 commercial satellites for Iridium Communications.

The planned June 29 launch comes after Iridium said the first batch of its NEXT satellites, launched from Vandenberg in January on a Falcon 9, were recently integrated into the company's constellation. The payload is scheduled for liftoff at 1:02 p.m. Pacific time during an instantaneous launch window.

The January Iridium launch marked SpaceX's return to flight after an investigatory period initiated when a Falcon 9 rocket exploded on a Cape Canaveral pad in September 2016. The first stage of the rocket returned for a soft landing on a drone ship in the Pacific Ocean shortly after liftoff.

Iridium NEXT satellites are designed to replace the company's nearly 20-year-old constellation currently in low Earth orbit. Manufactured by Franco-Italian company Thales Alenia Space and assembled by Orbital ATK in Arizona, the spacecraft each weigh about a ton.

The $3 billion upgrade program will improve mobile voice and data connections around the globe. SpaceX is contracted to launch 75 of the satellites over eight launches by mid-2018, all from Vandenberg.

Quelle: Florida Today

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