Falcon 9 Block 5 | Iridium-7

SpaceX launch of a Falcon 9 Block 5 Rocket

Watch Launch Video

SpaceX was scheduled to launch a Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket as part of the Iridium-7 mission. The launch window for the Communications mission was on Wed, Jul 25th, 2018, 7:39 AM EDT from Space Launch Complex 4E, Vandenberg AFB, CA. The status of the launch was Success with a 90% chance for favorable weather conditions. Don’t miss this exciting rocket launch! Watch the launch video of the Falcon 9 Block 5 and experience the excitement for yourself. The first stage of the Falcon 9 landed on the ASDS, JRTI, stationed off the west coast.

Mission

Iridium-7

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will deliver 10 satellites to low Earth orbit for Iridium, a global leader in mobile voice and data satellite communications. This is the seventh set of 10 satellites in a series of 75 total satellites that SpaceX will launch for Iridium’s next generation global satellite constellation, Iridium® NEXT.

Location

Space Launch Complex 4E, Vandenberg AFB, CA

Vandenberg AFB, CA, USA

Rocket

Falcon 9 Block 5

Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the reliable and safe transport of satellites and the Dragon spacecraft into orbit. The Block 5 variant is the fifth major interval aimed at improving upon the ability for rapid reusability.

SpaceX

Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It was founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs and enabling the colonization of Mars. SpaceX has many pads, on the East Coast of the US they own SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral and LC-39A at the Kennedy Space Center for their lower inclination launches. They also own SLC-4E at Vandenberg, California for their high inclination launches. Another site is also being developed at Boca Chica, Texas.

The first stage of the Falcon 9 landed on the ASDS, JRTI, stationed off the west coast.

Falcon 9 booster B1048 is a reusable orbital-class Block 5 Falcon 9 first-stage booster manufactured by SpaceX. B1048 was the third Falcon 9 block 5 to fly and the second block 5 booster to re-fly. It became the second orbital-class booster to fly a third time and the first to fly a fourth time.

Just Read the Instructions (JRTI)

The third ASDS barge, Just Read the Instructions (JRTI) services launches in the Pacific Ocean for launches from Vandenberg AFB. It was first put to use in January of 2016 to attempt to recover a Falcon 9 first-stage booster from the Jason-3 mission which successfully landed but subsequently fell over and experienced an Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly (RUD).

Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS)

An autonomous spaceport drone ship (ASDS) is an ocean-going vessel derived from a deck barge, outfitted with station-keeping engines and a large landing platform. Construction of such ships was commissioned by aerospace company SpaceX to allow for recovery of rocket first-stages at sea for high-velocity missions which do not carry enough fuel to return to the launch site after lofting spacecraft onto an orbital trajectory.

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