Space Exploration Technologies Corp on Sunday launched a Falcon9 vessel with 10 communication satellites into orbit for Iridium Communications from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This is the seventh time the private exploration firm, lead by Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, has launched a rocket successfully, CNN reported.
Iridium Communications operates a constellation of 66 active satellites used for voice and data communication worldwide. “The launch is the first in a seven-flight contract with Iridium worth $468.1 million [Rs 3,113 crore approximately],” said Diane Hockenberry, spokesperson of the Virginia-headquartered firm.
The launch comes almost four months after a launchpad mishap in September 2016. The accident had cast a shadow over the company’s plans to transport United States astronauts into space next year, as well as its first mission to Mars.
SpaceX plans to send several more rockets into orbit in 70 missions, Reuters reported. Among its other agendas for 2017, the company plans to fly its first reused rocket and repair the Florida launchpad that was damaged in the September explosion.