Elon Musk's Falcon 9's nose crashes, yet deployed 10 satellites successfully

02 April, 2018, 00:56 | Author: Harriet Bell
  • SpaceX Launch Postponed title

American aerospace company SpaceX on Friday successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 10 telecommunications satellites from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in Southern California. Musk tweeted after the February 22 launch from Vandenberg that the boat missed catching the fairing "by a few hundreds meters", adding that the fairing slowed down enough to land "intact" in the Pacific Ocean.

SpaceX has been working to flawless the process of recovering rockets to reduce the cost of space missions.

This time too, Mr. Steven was unable to catch the bulbous nose cone when it splashed into the Ocean at the speed eight times greater than the speed of sound.

The first stage booster for today's launch was previously flown during Iridium-3 in October 2017, making this the second Iridium NEXT launch to use a flight-proven Falcon 9 rocket.

The launch was originally scheduled for Thursday but was delayed because of an issue with one of the satellites, according to a Twitter post from the Iridium Communications CEO, Matt Desch.

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@IridiumBoss: We are having an issue with 1 of the 10 satellites in prep for #Iridium5. Iridium confirmed shortly before noon that all 10 satellites had reached orbit and transmitted signals. Iridium, which plans to have all of its satellites launched by mid-2018, has partnered with Thales Alenia Space to manufacture, assemble and test them.

The launch went as planned and Falcon 9 carried the satellites into orbit. He further added that the target was anticipated, however, the milestone was achieved much before than predicted. SpaceX has ferried all of those satellites into orbit over 5 different missions, but even that isn't the most impressive part about today's launch. The mission lasted approximately 75 minutes.

The rocket lifted off at 7:13 a.m. Friday and arced over the Pacific west of Los Angeles.

Iridium, based in McLean, Virginia, provides mobile voice and data communications. Rest 9 satellites are sanctioned as spares for when if any satellites go impaired or malfunctions. Three more launches are planned this year to help complete Iridium's global satellite constellation. The Iridium network is comprised of six polar orbiting planes, each containing 11 operational, crosslinked satellites, for a total of 66 in the active constellation.



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