Posted: Sunday, June 25, 2017 – 3:42 PM
(CNS) – Hawthorne-based aerospace firm SpaceX completed its second successful launch of the weekend Sunday, sending a series of communications satellites into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The launch window began at 1:25 p.m. at the Air Force base near Lompoc, California, and was conducted with a previously un-used Falcon 9 rocket. The last of the 10 satellites launched Sunday was deployed to low-Earth orbit at 2:37 p.m.
The satellites belong to the communications company Iridium.
SpaceX successfully launched a commercial communications satellite into orbit Friday, marking the second time the company has re-used the first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket, continuing its pioneering effort to recycle equipment and slash costs.
The rocket carrying the BulgariaSat-1 satellite into orbit took off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida shortly after noon. The first stage of the rocket was previously used during a January mission.
SpaceX has recovered rockets multiple times on the barge, known as a drone ship, and on land back at Cape Canaveral. The recoveries are seen as a major cost-cutting evolution in space flight, allowing the re-use of the multimillion-dollar rockets instead of allowing them to burn up on re-entry and fall into the ocean.