SpaceX puts 10 next generation satellites into orbit


Watch a replay from a camera mounted on-board SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket as it released one of 10 Iridium Next communications satellites Monday almost 400 miles above Earth.

The space company hopes to fly more used rockets in the coming months as it works to further reduce the cost of space travel.

In January, SpaceX delivered the first batch of 10 Iridium Next satellites in its first successful launch since the massive Falcon 9 explosion in September 2016. "They will circle the planet every 90 minutes".

The Falcon 9 will carry a high-powered communications satellite, which will work double-duty for the USA -based operator EchoStar and Luxembourg-based SES.

SpaceX said all 10 satellites were successfully deployed to low-Earth orbit about an hour after liftoff with Iridium acquiring "healthy signals" from each.

The Iridium Next satellites host radio receivers for Aireon, an affiliate of Iridium established in partnership with air traffic control authorities in Canada, Ireland, Italy and Denmark, wrote the website Spaceflight Now.

A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket carrying the SES 11/EchoStar 105 communications satellite is scheduled to lift off from Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida at 6:53 p.m. ET (2053 GMT) today.

Each of the three launches has put 10 new satellites into orbit, gradually replacing the old Iridium satellites, still in service after almost two decades.

"Each successful launch brings us one step closer to both a technological and financial transformation", said Iridium CEO Matt Desch.

SpaceX is participating in eight launches that are sending a total of 75 Iridium satellites into space, according to the Iridium statement.



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