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SpaceX launches 10 satellites from California air base

26 June 2017

Should Iridium continue using SpaceX's services, it could complete its constellation sooner than expected. The company hopes to have a launch every week by 2019. The privately-owned firm is aiming to fly around 20 missions before the end of the year, SpaceX representatives have said.

SpaceX's back-to-back launches feature the shortest span between two succeeding launches, shooting a refurbished Falcon 9 booster skyward on Friday, June 23, launching Bulgaria's first communication satellite into space.

This was the second launch in SpaceX's campaign to put 75 Iridium NEXT spacecraft into a constellation that's created to provide global high-speed satellite data transmission as well as aircraft tracking and surveillance. In the process, it became the first booster to notch a launch from the West Coast and the East Coast. The first time that a booster was reused was in March.

What's new with the Falcon 9?

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Musk was anxious that the booster wouldn't be recoverable a second time. The back-to-back launches went perfectly well without a hitch. It has already launched more rockets in 2017 than any other year.

Nonetheless, the new satellites will help SpaceX support a larger bandwidth as well as a faster speed for the voice and data communication. With the elimination of these blind spots, losing aircraft such as the Malaysia Flight MH370 will become next to impossible. The launch on Sunday is part of a contract to deliver a total of 75 satellites into orbit for Iridium. According to the footage, however, the drone missed its mark on the recovery ship by two feet.

I don't know about you, but Elon Musk had a great weekend.

He further elaborated, "After this second launch, we have six more launches scheduled with SpaceX over the following 12 months, so our network activities in space are really going to get a bit frenetic".

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A SpaceX rocket has lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, in the second half of a weekend double-launch for the company.

A SpaceX Dragon supply ship approaches the ISS.

The second rocket featured titanium grid fins, which can withstand re-entry heating better than the previous aluminium design. It was previously used in January. Some on-board cameras even showed the fins burn and light on fire during reentry. "Can be used indefinitely with no touchups", he said.

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