After a year of setbacks, in 2016, SpaceX displays in 2017, an insolent success. The american society of billionaire Elon Musk, has successfully launched Monday morning ten satellite communications company Iridium with Falcon 9. The first stage of the launcher is then returned to lay safely on a floating platform in the Pacific ocean. A routine but it is still magical…
The launch took place from the air base Vandenberg in California, 05H37 local (12H37 GMT). Seven minutes later, the first stage of the Falcon 9 has fired its engines and made a vertical landing controlled. “The successful landing of the first floor”, exclaimed a commentator on SpaceX during the live broadcast of the launch on the website of the company of Elon Musk, to the applause of mission control in Hawthorne, California.
By recycling its launchers, SpaceX promises to dramatically lower the cost of launches and to open a new era in space exploration. What remains to prove, Elon Musk remaining very discreet on the costs of calling in-flight to the first floor recycled. This launch is the third of eight planned by SpaceX for the account of Iridium. The company wants to put in orbit a series of 75 satellites developed and manufactured by Thales Alenia Space (TAS) by 2018, in the framework of a project of $ 3 billion to improve its global communications network.
For Iridium Communications, chaired by Matt Desch, this flight is part of a series of eight ancements on Falcon 9, which are programmed for 18 months to place on orbit 70 satellites for the Iridium NEXT constellation, each weighing 750/760 kg. Either a total contract value of 468,1 million for SpaceX (66,87 million per launch). The constellation would be in orbit by mid-2018.