Spectators gathered from across the globe to witness the latest SpaceX launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base Saturday morning.
Just before 10:00 a.m., the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched successfully from Vandenberg Space Launch Complex-4.
Shortly after liftoff, the rocket deployed 10 low-Earth orbit satellites for Iridium Communications Inc.
— Iridium Corporate (@IridiumComm) January 14, 2017
A press release from VAFB detailed the purpose of the launch and Iridium’s goal with the new satellites.
Iridium NEXT will replace the world’s largest commercial satellite network of low-earth orbit satellites in what will be one of the largest “tech upgrades” in history. Iridium has partnered with Thales Alenia Space for the manufacturing, assembly and testing of 81 Iridium NEXT satellites, at least 70 of which will be launched by SpaceX. The process of replacing the satellites one-by-one in a constellation of this size and scale has never been completed before.
Reporter Michael Colaianni was at the launch and will have full details during Saturday’s newscasts on KEYT Newschannel 3 and KCOY Central Coast News.