SpaceX launched its 14th Falcon 9 rocket of 2017 this morning, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The rocket carried 10 Iridium satellites to orbit, and was the third mission for Iridium that SpaceX has conducted, with more planned to complete the communications provider’s Iridium NEXT satellite network.
SpaceX also recovered the first stage booster of the Falcon 9 rocket it used for this mission, returning the used rocket to its ‘Just Read The Instructions’ floating drone ship in the Pacific Ocean.
This mission also includes the primary goal: Deployment of its client’s satellites. Just over an hour after the original launch, SpaceX confirmed that it had successfully deployed each of the Iridium NEXT satellites as planned into their desired target orbits.
SpaceX will also be attempting to launch another Falcon 9 on October 11. This launch is for EchoStar and SES’s joint high-powered communications satellite, and will take place from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, using a Falcon 9 first stage that SpaceX already flew previously, and refurbished for a second use.