SpaceX launches rocket with satellites from Vandenberg AFB

SpaceX launches rocket with satellites from Vandenberg AFB

SpaceX launches rocket with satellites from Vandenberg AFB

The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) rocket lifted off at 7:13:51 a.m. PDT (10:13:51 a.m. EDT; 1413:51 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 4-East at Vandenberg.

The Falcon 9 rocket that was used in the launch was first used in October 2017. These Iridium launches have helped prove that the concept can indeed work, with Iridium becoming the first SpaceX customer to reuse Falcon rockets for its missions.

While the firm planned to recover half of the payload fairing using the "Mr Steven" boat, which is described a giant webbed catcher's mitt, Elon Musk has since revealed the fairing missed its target and crashed into the ocean.

SpaceX will not, however, attempt to land the booster after Friday's launch. To do that, Iridium has bought eight Falcon 9 launches for a total of $536 million.

'We will be attempting a recovery for one of the halves of the fairing on our recovery ship, Mr Steven'.

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The value of these fairings is about six million USA dollars, and recovering and reusing them would save money for SpaceX. Iridium, based in McLean, Virginia, provides mobile voice and data communications.

The Iridium project, though less flamboyant, will replace the world's largest commercial satellite network of low-Earth orbit satellites in one of the largest "tech upgrades" in history, Iridium has said.

In 2015, when Google made a $1 billion investment in the space company, SpaceX told investors it expected to generate significant revenue from its satellite constellation by 2020. The Federal Communications Commission gives satellite operators six years to put most of their constellation into operation, in order to prevent companies from stockpiling unused radio spectrum.

Starting an hour after launch, the satellites were released one by one approximately every 100 seconds, taking about 15 minutes to successfully complete delivery. SapceX has been working for a long time to ensure that its Falcon rockets can be used repeatedly, which will save a ton of money since SpaceX won't have to construct new rockets for each launch it performs.

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) cargo mission is scheduled to launch on Monday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, with Dragon arriving at the space station next week.

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