Live coverage: SpaceX resumes launches from California
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.
Timeline for Falcon 9 rocket’s launch of 10 Iridium satellites
Falcon 9 rocket ready for all-important return to service Saturday
SpaceX rolled a fully-assembled Falcon 9 booster out of its hangar and lifted it on top of a launch pad Friday for the first time since an explosion grounded the commercial rocket last year, setting the stage for a one-second launch window Saturday to take off from California’s Central Coast and deploy the first 10 satellites in orbit for a $3 billion upgrade to Iridium’s globe-spanning message relay network.
Q&A with Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium (members only)
Next SpaceX launch slipped to avoid stormy weather, range conflict
FAA signs off on SpaceX mishap investigation
Engine hotfire test completed for SpaceX’s first launch since explosion
SpaceX failure probe complete; flights to resume Sunday from California
Iridium satellites closed up for launch on Falcon 9 rocket
The first 10 satellites for Iridium’s next-generation mobile voice and data relay network have been fueled, joined with their deployment module and encapsulated inside the clamshell-like nose cone of a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster for launch as soon as next week from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.