10 new Iridium satellites delivered to orbit

An early-morning rocket launch traces an arc of light across the horizon

An early-morning rocket launch traces an arc of light across the horizon

The original fleet of satellites, famous for their periodic Iridium flares, were launched between 1997 and 2002.

After being rescheduled several times, the Falcon 9 rocket officially launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) on Friday morning.

The booster used on today's mission had previously launched the Telstar 18 VANTAGE satellite in September of a year ago, landing in the Atlantic on droneship "Of Course I Still Love You".

Using its Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX on Friday launched the final group of next generation communication satellites, known as Iridium NEXT, completing a decade-long project.

'There it is, right in the middle of the bullseye, ' said SpaceX commentator John Innsbrucker, as live images showed the first stage of the rocket standing upright on the droneship named 'Just Read the Instructions'.

It was previously used in a launch last September from Florida.

ExxonMobil, IBM Partner on Quantum Computing
This design was specifically built to minimize interferences from ambient noises, temperature changes and electromagnetic waves. IBM has bet a lot on this futuristic technology and time and again shared its progress in the field of quantum computing.

While the Falcon 9 booster returned to Earth, the second stage and its payload pressed on to orbit.

After a period of coasting, the second stage will re-ignite and carry the satellites into position for deployment.

In an image made from the SpaceX webcast, a spacecraft deploys the final set of Iridium NEXT satellites into orbit, January 11, 2019.

A Falcon 9 rocket launched as planned from Vandenberg Air Force at about 7:30 a.m., according to a SpaceX tweet.

There are a whole lot of new machines in orbit now that SpaceX has completed a series of eight launches to upgrade communications company Iridium's constellation of satellites. This will be the company's first landing attempt since a stage launched December 5 malfunctioned and "landed" in the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Canaveral.

If successful, Iridium will have a total of 75 new satellites in orbit, including nine spares.

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