[Update 2 June 25th] It was only a day ago that SpaceX last successfully launched a satellite into space but that didn’t stop them this time.
Today SpaceX successfully launched a cluster of 10 satellites for Iridium as part of their Iridium-NEXT constellation of satellites. This launch was particularly interesting because SpaceX only had a second launch window to work with.
An image of that launch can be seen in the GIF above.
And they landed as you can see in the GIF and image below.
[Update June 25th] We now have an embed so you can watch the launch of 10 Iridium-NEXT satellites live from wherever you keep your computer.
Check it out in the video embed below and be sure to read our original story below that to catch up on the details of this launch.
[Update June 24th] Today SpaceX revealed that their Falcon 9 rocket is now vertical on Pad SLC-4E at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
This comes ahead of the target launch date for the next set of satellite launches for Iridium, all as part of their Iridium-NEXT system.
They will be launching a total of 10 Iridium Next satellites tomorrow (June 25th) as they previously targeted.
We will update you as soon as we have an update about the launch.
[Original Story] Today SpaceX and Iridium revealed that they were able to push the second Iridium Next mission ahead by four days due to new availability at the Vandenberg Air Force Base.
It was previously scheduled for launch on June 29th, however, thanks to this availability it will launch on June 25th at 21:24 BST instead. It will be an “instantaneous launch window,” which means it must occur precisely at the scheduled time.
This will be part of SpaceX’s deal with Iridium to launch the entire Iridium Next constellation over the course of eight missions, seven of which will launch a total of 10 satellites, one will be split between five Iridium Next satellites and a NASA-Germany science spacecraft.
Once finished, Iridium Next will comprise of 75 satellites, 66 of which will form the core constellation and the other 9 will be a standby satellites.
“We’re excited for this next launch,” Iridium CEO Matt Desch said in a May 25 statement. “Satellites have already started to arrive at the launch site and are undergoing pre-launch preparations, so we’ll be ready to go. An earlier launch date is all the better for our constellation deployment plans.”
It should be an interesting launch as Iridium satellites come out of the first stage in a unique manner.
We will be sure to keep you updated before and as the launch happens.