SpaceX Successfully Launches Its Long-Awaited Iridium-5 Mission

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SpaceX began its launch Friday morning from the central coast of California, in an attempt to send Iridium NEXT satellites into orbit on a previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket.

The Falcon 9 rocket being used for Friday's launch was previously used in October for an Iridium satellite mission, and it was successfully recovered for re-use.

At the same time, commercial communication to Iridium clients on the ground was made successful as the 10 satellites were deployed to the Low-Earth orbit as planned.

The Iridium-5 NEXT Mission marked the fifth set of 10 satellites that Elon Musk's SpaceX has launched for its customer's Iridium NEXT global satellite constellation.

In the last launch from Vandenberg, SpaceX on February 22 sent into orbit a Hisdesat PAZ satellite for Spain aboard a Falcon 9.

The Iridium-5 NEXT Mission launched at 7:13 a.m. The launch happened exactly a year after SpaceX first launched and landed a used Falcon 9 rocket.

That rocket is scheduled to lift off Monday afternoon from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Today's planned launch is the first of two planned by SpaceX in the next four days. Space.com has reached out to SpaceX and NOAA for clarification.

Per the reports, SpaceX used an recovered first stage booster which was recovered and refurbished to be used as the first stage in the Friday launch.

It was not immediately clear why a remote sensing license was an issue for SpaceX on Friday's mission when SpaceX has live streamed the launch of previous missions without issue. The mission lasted approximately 75 minutes.

All of the satellites are expected to be positioned in orbit by the middle of the year.

However, it did try to land the fairing - the rocket's nose cone - on a SpaceX-owned boat named "Mr Steven", which is equipped with a huge net. Since the older satellites had overperformed excessively, Iridium chose to invest a fortune of $3 billion to upgrade its services and increase subscribers base and to offer seamless and uninterrupted data, voice, and other services unlike others falling to meet the needs of the customers.

"It's a giant steel and webbing catcher's mitt superstructure on a high-speed ocean ship".

Speaking on the subject of the fairing, Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, indicated that it would be easier to restore this part for a future flight provided that their recovery plans are successful.

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