Published: Mon, April 02, 2018
Science | By Dan Gutierrez

SpaceX Falcon 9's Iridium satellite launch is a triumph of recycling

SpaceX Falcon 9's Iridium satellite launch is a triumph of recycling

The payload is the fifth set of 10 new satellites launched for Iridium, which is replacing its entire global satellite network.

The Falcon 9 rocket being used for Friday's launch was previously used in October for an Iridium satellite mission, and it was successfully recovered for re-use.

To date, Iridium has completed five launches of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites, all with SpaceX from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

On Thursday, the US communications regulator gave formal approval to a plan by Elon Musk's SpaceX to build a global broadband network using satellites. Iridium has tapped SpaceX to launch 75 Iridium Next satellites to build up their communications constellation in orbit. This year, the fifth launch in the row took place on Friday where it sent 10 satellites to replace its old and retiring satellites that were launched with a lifespan of just seven years in the 1990s and early 2000s.

SpaceX said no such restrictions will be imposed on its next launch, an April 2 cargo mission to the International Space Station.

Since it has now seen two launches, SpaceX didn't attempt to land today's booster. He further added that they would be working towards adding live views from the orbit in the future and were in discussion with the NOAA to lift these restrictions. Space.com has reached out to SpaceX and NOAA for clarification.

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Mr. Steven, a boat deployed by SpaceX to snag falling parts with a giant seaborne net, failed to retrieve the $6 million nose cone, a method Musk has been trying to flawless with previous launches as well.

SpaceX is well known for landing and reusing rocket boosters to bring down the price of its rockets, but this was one of the rare occasions Musk has acknowledged his rocket startup's attempts to recover the fairing after launch, the CNNMoney report said.

SpaceX was chosen to launch a constellation of 75 satellites in eight missions.

'Today is also the one year anniversary of the first time we flew a flight proven Falcon 9 first stage'.

Elon Musk, SpaceX's founder and chief executive, said via Twitter that the air wake from the fairing's descent interfered with the steering on an attached parafoil.

"It's a giant steel and webbing catcher's mitt superstructure on a high-speed ocean ship". The mobile voice and data communications company's final launches of this $3 billion satellite replacement project are expected to happen by the end of 2018.

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