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Successful SpaceX launch delivers satellites into orbit

26 Juin 2017

This was the second batch of Iridium's NEXT constellation, which will be comprised of 75 satellites once SpaceX launches them all.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 on Friday launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida and boosted a communications satellite for Bulgaria into orbit. In the process, it became the first booster to notch a launch from the West Coast and the East Coast.

SpaceX is the only company that has recovered, refurbished and then re-flown an orbital class rocket.

On Sunday, SpaceX was back again, this time with its second mission for Iridium.

The Falcon 9 rocket hastened up from SpaceX's Vandenberg Air Force Base down in California.

Mission "BulgariaSat-1" kicked off the fun with a Friday launch of a geosynchronous satellite that will improve telecommunications in Bulgaria. SpaceX is now the only company to hold the record for most successful launches in a year.

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"Received telemetry from all 10 IridiumNEXT satellites", the official Iridium Twitter account tweeted less than three hours after the launching.

Nonetheless, the new satellites will help SpaceX support a larger bandwidth as well as a faster speed for the voice and data communication.

SpaceX will, in short order, become one of two commercial companies that fly astronauts to and from the International Space Station, breaking the Russian monopoly for that service.

The rocket's first stage landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean, according to Sky News. Elon Musk led SpaceX is also planning to launch for the first time the Falcon Heavy, an extensively boosted derivative rocket. The German Research Center for Geosciences, which is partnering with NASA on the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-on, or GRACE-FO, mission will reimburse Iridium for $31.8 million of the final $67.9 million launch tab, said Allison Carollo, a spokeswoman for Iridium.

"New titanium grid fins worked even better than expected".

The Falcon 9, which had sent 10 rockets up to space in January, was forced to use "almost all of the emergency crush core", a component used to soften its landing. It's all part of SpaceX's campaign to reduce the cost of access to space by increasing rocket reusability, and part of Musk's vision of making trips to Mars economically justifiable as well.