SpaceX launches its first Falcon 9 rocket this year out of California, a flight that will also mark the first 2019 orbital mission for the United States. The company will send 10 satellites to Iridium longtime customer. After take-off, SpaceX will attempt its first rocket landing of the year by landing an autonomous drone ship in the Pacific.
Today's flight, called the Iridium-8, will send the final lot of satellites to the constellation of Iridium NEXT. SpaceX has signed a contract with Iridium for the launch of all 75 satellites in orbit for the constellation, which will provide telecommunications coverage from the low Earth orbit. The constellation is a replacement and upgrade of the original Iridium satellite fleet, launched between 1
About 10 minutes after take-off, SpaceX will point Falcon 9 to land on a drone ship in the area. Ocean. It's been just over a month since the company recovered a rocket. The last flight of SpaceX in December was responsible for launching a GPS satellite for American aviation and, due to the parameters of the mission, the company decided not to disembark the Falcon 9 after launch. Prior to that flight, SpaceX actually landed when a Falcon 9 headed for a concrete landing pad on the Florida coast, closed in the ocean.
Fortunately for SpaceX, today's missile has already done all this. This Falcon 9 had previously launched the Telstar 18 VANTAGE satellite in September from Florida and then landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic. Perhaps he can resume the same routine, except from the west coast. If this missile attacks the landing today, it will mark the 33rd successful landing of a core of Falcon 9 rockets.
The take-off for today's launch is scheduled for 10:31 ET from the Vandenberg aeronautical base in California , and SpaceX has an instant window, so the company must start at that time or move on to another day. A backup launch window is available Saturday at 10:25 ET. The SpaceX launch cover is scheduled to start 15 minutes before take-off. Check again to kick off the first launch in the United States in 2019.