SpaceX's next launch is targeted for mid-July for Intelsat communications satellite, although the date has not yet been confirmed.
The American company SpaceX on Sunday successfully placed 10 satellites for the communications company Iridium into orbit using a Falcon 9 rocket. The first stage of the rocket successfully landed minutes later.
Roughly eight minutes after the launch, the rocket's first stage completed a vertical landing on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. The booster was previously used in a January mission. This will include Iridium CertusSM, the Company's next-generation multi-service communications platform enabled by Iridium NEXT, which will deliver faster speeds and higher throughputs across multiple industry verticals.
It was the 13th successful booster landing in 18 attempts, the eighth on a droneship and the ninth successful recovery in a row, demonstrating the growing maturity of SpaceX's on-going drive to lower launch costs by recovering, refurbishing and re-launching stages that otherwise would be discarded.
On board the 23-foot-tall rocket were the next batch of 10 Iridium Next satellites to build a second-generation constellation for the global communication system.
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"Received telemetry from all 10 IridiumNEXT satellites", the official Iridium Twitter account tweeted less than three hours after the launching. Iridium NEXT will replace the world's largest commercial satellite network of low-Earth orbit satellites in what will be one of the largest "tech upgrades" in history.
Two days after SpaceX launched Falcon 9 rocket at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the space agency sent another mission into orbit with 10 new satellites.
Swapping out and deorbiting some old satellites has already begun, Iridium CEO Matt Desch said in a pre-launch call with reporters.
The new satellites also carry payloads for joint-venture Aerion's space-based, real-time tracking and surveillance of aircraft around the globe, which has implications for efficiency, economy and safety - especially in remote airspace over the oceans. The new satellites will not create visible flashes of reflected sunlight as they passed overhead.