SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket took off from launch pad 39A, a historic facility under lease from NASA, and delivered to orbit an uncrewed supply ship heading for the International Space Station. The first stage booster returned to a landing at nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the first such recovery on land in daylight.
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.