SpaceX launches Falcon 9 mission to put Iridium satellites into orbit
- Author: Ryan Wade Apr 01, 2018,
Apr 01, 2018, 0:10
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket delivered a group of 10 satellites into orbit for communications firm Iridium. According to SpaceX, the company will not attempt to recover the rocket after today's planned launch. The mission took off at 7:13 a.m.
SpaceX, the master of reusable rocket technology, will be launching a used (sorry, "flight proven") Falcon 9 today, and will not be attempting to recover the booster.
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.
SpaceX requested a waiver so it would only need to fly 1,600 satellites in that period, arguing that it would be physically impossible to launch all 4,425 during the same period-a launch cadence of 60 satellites per month. Well, the good news at least is that SpaceX does not expect to face a similar issue with its next launch.
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A SpaceX launch of Iridium satellites in December caused quite a spectacle in California where the launch appeared in the sky and amazed some onlookers.
Commercial space service SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to make its 14th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station on behalf of NASA. The satellites were deployed about an hour after launch.
"Iridium is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe". The Iridium NEXT constellation is scheduled to be completed later this year at a cost of approximately $3 billion - the plan is for a total of 75 satellites comprising the constellation, placed via eight launch events.
With the PAZ launch, the company tried this for the first time.
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Whether Mr. Steven does or doesn't catch the fairing, the news will likely come from Musk himself - possibly on his social media accounts, where he's shared other updates about SpaceX's attempts to land fairings.
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