SpaceX launches 14th rocket in 2017, recovers first stage



SpaceX launched its 14th Falcon 9 rocket of 2017 this morning, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The rocket carried 10 Iridium satellites to orbit, and was the third mission for Iridium that SpaceX has conducted, with more planned to complete the communications provider’s Iridium NEXT satellite network.

SpaceX also recovered the first stage booster of the Falcon 9 rocket it used for this mission, returning the used rocket to its ‘Just Read The Instructions’ floating drone ship in the Pacific Ocean.

This mission also includes the primary goal: Deployment of its clients satellites. That’s set to occur in just under an hour, after the Falcon 9 second stage achieves is in the right spot to put them in their target orbit. It’s now in a parking orbit to await movement into the deployment orbit.

We’ll update this article when the Falcon 9 completes its primary mission with those results.

SpaceX will also be attempting to launch another Falcon 9 on October 11. This launch is for EchoStar and SES’s joint high-powered communications satellite, and will take place from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, using a Falcon 9 first stage that SpaceX already flew previously, and refurbished for a second use.



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