December 15, 2018

Video: Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Vandenberg, lands in Pacific


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SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket lifted off Sunday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and carried 10 Iridium communications satellites toward a perch in low Earth orbit, then the launcher’s first stage nailed a landing on a platform positioned in the Pacific Ocean.

The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) rocket took off at 1:25:14 p.m. PDT (4:25:14 p.m. EDT; 2025:14 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 4-East at Vandenberg. Landing of the first stage occurred less than eight minutes later.

Here are some statistics on Sunday’s launch:

  • 37th launch of a Falcon 9 rocket since 2010
  • 42nd launch of Falcon rocket family since 2006
  • 4th Falcon 9 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base
  • 17th launch of the upgraded Falcon 9
  • 2nd upgraded Falcon 9 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base
  • 2nd launch for Iridium by SpaceX
  • 24th overall launch with Iridium satellites
  • 4th launch of Thales Alenia Space payloads on Falcon 9
  • 23rd Falcon 9 day launch
  • 9th Falcon 9 launch of 2017
  • 3rd launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in 2017
  • 13th landing of a Falcon 9 first stage

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.


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