IRIDIUM – ONE MISSION IN PHOTOS

On January 14th, 2017, SpacesX’s Falcon 9 successfully delivered 10 satellites to low-Earth orbit for Iridium, a global leader in mobile voice and data satellite communications. The 10 satellites are the first of at least 70 satellites that SpaceX will launch for Iridium’s next generation global satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT.

Below is a summary of the mission in photos, with more photos available on SpaceX’s Flickr site ( https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacex ).

Falcon 9 lifted off from Space Launch Complex 4E Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 9:54:39 am (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTmbSur4fcs&feature=youtu.be).

iridium_launch_oceanh4

View from the Falcon 9 vehicle looking back at the launch site as it ascends towards orbit.

iridium_firststageascent

Two and a half minutes into flight, the first and second stages separate, and rhe second stage engine ignites to carry the 10 Iridium satellites to their destination in low-Earth orbit.

iridium_secondstage

Grid fins help orient the Falcon 9’s first stage as it prepares to land on the “Just Read the Instructions” drone ship, holding position in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California.

iridium_gridfins

Landing legs deployed in final seconds before landing.

iridium_landingdroneship

Falcon 9 first stage after its successful landing on the “Just Read the Instructions” drone ship.

iridium_landed2.png

 

 

 

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