Vandenberg Air Force Base readies another Space X Iridium satellite launch


The satellites launched aboard the Falcon 9 rocket, which lifted off from Vendenberg Air Force Base at 4:39 Wednesday morning, are part of Iridium's in-development $3 billion array, which willl eventually include 75 satellites supporting a worldwide voice and data communications network. Each song will either reflect what viewers of the space-x web-cast are seeing, or are somehow related to the iridium story.

In addition to the Falcon 9 is also the launch of the Ariane 5 rocket with four satellites Galileo. The rocket placed the Telesat-owned Telstar 19 VANTAGE communications satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit. The company also intends to "catch" in a special grid mounted on the ship Mr Steven, the nose cone of the rocket. The company says that can use Falcon 9 Block 5 more than ten times.

Wednesday's launch was SpaceX's 14th mission so far in 2018.

After the Falcon 9's nine first stage Merlin 1D engines ignited, their combined 1.7 million pounds (7,600 kilonewtons) of thrust propelled the vehicle off the pad to send its 15,600-pound (7,076-kilogram) payload skyward. Despite the "challenging weather conditions", the first stage successfully made a soft landing on a barge Just Read the Instructions.

Over the next several days, SpaceX engineers out at sea near the drone ship will work to safe the rocket and tow it back to Port Canaveral where it will be evaluated, refurbished, and prepped for another flight.

The spacecraft Iridium NEXT based on the ELiTeBus platform by Thales Alenia Space. The constellation of communication satellites - now featuring 75 satellites and scheduled to get 10 more later this summer - is created to support the "Internet of things", the technology behind smart devices.