SpaceX is all set to launch its first mission of the year which is Falcon 9 rocket, the flight will also mark the first orbital mission of 2019 for the US, the rocket is launched this morning from California. The company will also send 10 satellites for the long-time customer Iridium. After taking off SpaceX will be going to attempt the first rocket landing of the year by touching down on an autonomous drone ship in the Pacific.
The flight named Iridium-8 send the final batch of satellites for the Iridium NEXT constellation. For this purpose, SpaceX contracted with Iridium to launch all the 75 satellites in-orbit for the constellation, which will provide telecommunications coverage from low Earth orbit. However, the constellation is the replacement and upgrade Iridium’s original satellite fleet that launched between 1997 and 2002.
Also, SpaceX has been launching these new probes in the set of 10 from California, except for the one flight which further sent five satellites. After today’s launch, NEXT constellation will complete, and SpaceX wants that its Falcon 9 rocket will touch down on a drone ship in the ocean. The company’s last mission was the launch of a GPS satellite for the US Air Force, and because of some limitations of the mission, the company chooses not to land its Falcon 9 after launch.
Although, the takeoff was successful and SpaceX also landed its Falcon 9 rocket on one of its drone ships that brings the total number of Successful landings to 33. Too, all the Iridium satellites have been deployed to lower earth orbit.
Earlier, the company announced to operate some of its Spacecraft at a lower altitude. SpaceX claims that this modification will make the Space environment safer because it will be easier to clean it out when they run out of fuel or can no longer function properly in the space. This also explains the reason SpaceX’s test satellites for Starlink which is orbiting at lower Altitude.