SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launches 10 communications satellites

Mindy Sparks
January 11, 2019

The rocket is expected to carry 10 satellites from Iridium into orbit.

This launch will take off from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base 3.31pm GMT (10.31am EST / 7.31am PST).

SpaceX has revolutionised rockets since Elon Musk's company launched in 2002.

A launch webcast is available directly from the SpaceX site here.( and there will also be activity in the opposite direction.

The first-stage booster used Friday previously launched in September from Florida, and SpaceX successfully landed the booster on the droneship "Just Read the Instructions".

The booster used on today's mission had previously launched the Telstar 18 VANTAGE satellite in September of previous year, landing in the Atlantic on droneship "Of Course I Still Love You".

But instead of allowing the first stage, or booster, to fall into the ocean as trash, SpaceX's Falcon 9 fires its engines, maneuvers its grid fins and makes a controlled landing back on Earth.

And the same can be said for Dragon cargo capsules, which unmanned runs to resupply International Space Station, in collaboration with Space space agency NASA.

Once all 10 commercial satellites have been released, Iridium Next will have 75 spacecraft in orbit, with 66 of those used for the constellation and the others serving as in-orbit spares.

Iridium and SpaceX have collaborated on the project for a decade.

SpaceX has unveiled the test version of its eagerly-awaited Starship Hopper.

Musk insisted in a later tweet that the final version would lack the, er, ribbed appearance of the VTOL test version, which puts us in mind of something that Buster Crabbe might have flown in black-and-white battles with Charles Middleton.

A Falcon 9 rocket launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Friday served as the grand finale for one of the largest tech upgrades in space history, including revolutionary change to the global air-traffic surveillance system.

Alternatively astronauts could continue exploration and building further stations to set up a "planet-hopping" network.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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