The launch of used Falcon 9 rocket, which will carry the Dragon cargo ship, is the source of attention for space launch enthusiasts who eagerly await the next in a string of exciting missions in store for SpaceX.
Iridium says all of the satellites were successfully released into low Earth orbit and are communicating with its network operations center.
Skip to the 21:40-mark to see the launch at T-10.
It's important to note that the fairing that SpaceX is attempting to recover today is only one half of the entire nosecone of the rocket. The company attempted such a recovery during a February launch, but the fairing missed the net by "a few hundred meters".
Elon Musktweeted on his Twitter handle about the attempt to catch the payload fairing which is the nose-cone shaped cover that protects the satellites during the flight and cost of $5 million to $6 million which is why SpaceX tried to catch it.
The private space firm SpaceX on Friday launched with a partially-reused rocket the latest group of communication satellites to upgrade mobile, voice and data networks for Virginia-based firm Iridium. SpaceX made it clear that it will do experimental maneuver on the third stage, but it doesn't have any plans to recover it as it is replacing the older generation of rockets with newer ones.
Musk, who is also the co-founder and chief executive of electric automaker Tesla Inc., said in 2015 that SpaceX planned to launch a satellite-internet business that would help fund a future city on Mars.
The reusable Falcon 9 rocket was tested in McGregor, Texas. The mission involves the fifth set of 10 satellites being launched for the project.
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.
"SpaceX applied and received a license from NOAA that included conditions on their capability to live-stream from space". Each launch sent 10 satellites into orbit for Iridium.
The company has a high-speed ship with an enormous net structure created to catch half of a fairing as it descends under a parafoil. However, the recovery of the fairing is certainly something that the company would like to accomplish.
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