September 23, 2018

SpaceX successfully completes back-to-back launch missions

26 June 2017, 02:36 | Marion Schneider

There will be six more Iridium Next missions over the next year.

The rocket lifted off from the foggy Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 1:25 p.m. local time (2025 GMT) and again land its first stage on a drone ship, a live webcast showed.

SpaceX rocket launches will be in line with the IridiumNEXT, in preparation for the launches, the American aerospace manufacturer conducted a static fire test on June 20.

SpaceX's Falcon X takes off Sunday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Southern California.

Just over 48 hours after its successful launch of BulgariaSat-1, USA space firm SpaceX has successfully completed its second launch on Sunday with liftoff of a Falcon 9 rocket from California carrying 10 Iridium-NEXT satellites into low-Earth orbit (LEO).

Elon Musk's SpaceX rocket company has launched its second Falcon 9 rocket in 48 hours, taking another step towards renewable space flight.

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Sunday's mission did not use a pre-flown booster.

"Following stage separation, the first stage of Falcon 9 successfully landed on SpaceX's East Coast droneship 'Of Course I Still Love You, ' stationed in the Atlantic Ocean", Space X said in a statement.

But as with all SpaceX launches, the landings are a secondary objective. The 10 Iridium NEXT satellites then were deployed one at a time over 15 minutes or so from a dispenser atop the second stage.

The $3 billion effort by the McLean, Virginia, company involves complex procedures to replace 66 operational satellites in use for many years. Its payload, BulgariaSat-1, was later placed into its desired orbit.

Each satellite also is equipped with high-speed links to ground stations and the required satellite-to-satellite cross links. That's nowhere near its plan to bring 75 satellites in total meant to innovate phone and data coverage globally, but surely it's progress nevertheless.

The new spacecraft also will carry circuitry provided by Harris track ships at sea on a minute-by-minute basis and another Harris-built device, provided by a multi-agency consortium known as Aireon, that will track aircraft anywhere in the world.

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