- Fiza Pirani, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The rocket booster carrying 10 satellites for Iridium Communications took off from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 8:37 a.m. EDT and stuck the landing on the drone ship “Just Read the Instructions” in the Pacific Ocean 7.5 minutes later, according to Space.com.
“We're 10 for 10!” John Insprucker, SpaceX's Falcon 9 principal integration engineer said during the live webcast. “A clean sweep of Iridium Next satellite deployment in the desired final orbit.”
The 10 Iridium NEXT satellites are part of a series of launches to put a total of 81 into orbit, 75 of which will be launched by SpaceX, according to the company website.
In a company statement, Iridium CEO Matt Desch, said the Iridium Certus service, which operates Iridium NEXT satellites, “is going to fundamentally change the status quo in satellite connectivity for aviation, maritime, land-mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and government users.”
The service will ultimately provide the fastest L-band broadband solution available and will be capable of speeds up to 1.4Mbps once fully deployed.
Monday’s landing was SpaceX’s 17th successful Falcon 9 first stage landing in 2017.
The company has been recycling Falcon 9 first stage rockets in an effort to lower the cost of spaceflight.