SpaceX to launch 10 Iridium satellites from Vandenberg in June
SpaceX launched a classified National Reconnaissance Office payload from Kennedy Space Center Monday morning and successfully landed the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket.
An Atlas V rocket blasts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 with a Cygnus spacecraft for the International Space Station.
In a historic first for the company and the industry, SpaceX launched and landed a "flight proven," or refurbished, Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center.
A Delta IV rocket carrying the military's WGS-9 satellite blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Saturday, March 18, 2017.
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket blasts off from Kennedy Space Center with the EchoStar 23 communications satellite on Thursday, March 16, 2017.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully blasted off from Kennedy Space Center's historic pad 39A on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. The first stage returned for a successful landing in Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
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