An upgraded SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and its cargo of 10 commercial communication satellites blasted off Wednesday morning from Vandenberg Air Force Base for the campaign to rebuild the innovative Iridium Next constellation.
The two-stage booster, standing 230 feet tall, lifted off at 4:39 a.m. from Space Launch Complex-4 on South Base, climbing into still-dark and foggy skies en route to delivering the Iridium Next satellites.
“Thank you @SpaceX for another awesome flight,” Iridium Chief Executive Officer Matt Desch said on his Twitter account, adding that “all 10 satellites have checked in.”
Wednesday’s liftoff marked the second-to-last for completing the Iridium Next constellation with the eighth and final launch reportedly planned for September to push the total of spacecraft to 75 in orbit.
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