SpaceX launches 10 more Iridium Communications satellites

  • SpaceX launches 10 more Iridium Communications satellites

SpaceX launches 10 more Iridium Communications satellites

Overall, SpaceX has recovered 32 rocket stages since December 2015. Musk has disrupted the space industry by creating reusable rockets that could eventually be used on manned missions to Mars.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to launch today from complex 4-East at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The Falcon 9 will be carrying a payload of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites.

To watch the launch, check out www.spacex.com/webcast approximately a half hour before the expected launch.

'There it is, right in the middle of the bullseye, ' said SpaceX commentator John Innsbrucker, as live images showed the first stage of the rocket standing upright on the droneship named 'Just Read the Instructions'.

The booster took on its first launch last September, to send the Telstar 18 Vantage satellite into space.

SpaceX will try to land the Falcon's first stage on an autonomous vessel floating in the ocean.

If successful, Iridium will have a total of 75 new satellites in orbit, including nine spares.

The most recent SpaceX Iridium mission occurred in July 2018, so this afternoon's event is called Iridium-8.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced the milestone via Twitter today, clearing the way for the first "hop tests" that will prove the rocket's viability.

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.

"Orbital version is taller, has thicker skins (won't wrinkle) & a smoothly curving nose section".

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.

This allows astronauts to build refuelling stations on Mars or other planets and makes returnable missions to Mars mission returnable.