SpaceX has lifted another batch of next-gen communications satellites into space for Iridium.
Liftoff of the Falcon 9, carrying 10 Iridium satellites, came at 1:25 p.m. PDT June 25 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Its reusable first stage was landed successfully on a drone ship floating in the Pacific Ocean about 8 minutes after liftoff.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 launched 10 Iridium NEXT satellites into space in January, the first of eight scheduled SpaceX launches from Vandenberg for the McLean, Va.- based broadband-communications provider.
The Hawthorne, Calif.-based rocket company is under contract to launch a total of 75 Iridium satellites into space over an 18-month span.
Iridium’s NEXT constellation of low-orbit satellites will power the company’s Certus communications network. Iridium is publicly traded on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol IRDM.
The Iridium launch was the second for SpaceX in 48 hours, following the launch of a communications satellite for another commercial customer June 23.