SpaceX’s first launch since August took off Saturday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. A Falcon 9 rocket deployed the first 10 next-generation Iridium communications satellites, part of a $3 billion upgrade to the company’s space network. Liftoff occurred at 9:54 a.m. PST (12:54 p.m. EST; 1754 GMT), and the Falcon 9’s first stage landed on a barge in the Pacific a few minutes later.
A Japanese Epsilon rocket launched Tuesday from the Uchinoura Space Center, a shoreline spaceport on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, with a space weather research probe to study phenomena inside the turbulent Van Allen radiation belts. Liftoff of the 85-foot-tall rocket occurred at 1100 GMT (6 a.m. EST).
Advancing the future of weather forecasting in the U.S., a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 6:42 p.m. EST (2342 GMT) today to deploy the GOES-R satellite, anext-generation geostationary observatory that promises unprecedented clarity and speed in tracking storms. Follow the ascent in our live journal.