California-based private spaceflight company SpaceX successfully launched its 14th Falcon 9 rocket of 2017 carrying 10 iridium satellites into orbit. The launch took place at Vanderberg Air Force station in California . This marked the third mission SpaceX has conducted for iridium, a worldwide satellite telephone operator.
Iridium's customers rely on 66 satellites, operating in six orbital planes to make and receive calls from anywhere in the world.
The launch, streamed live online, showed the team at the SpaceX control room breaking out in cheers and applause after the rocket's first stage landing.
The Iridium Next satellites were deployed about 57 minutes after liftoff, with the entire process taking about 15 minutes.
SpaceX also plans to attempt another Falcon 9 launch on October 11. This SpaceX rocket launch, a joint venture with EchoStar and SES, will take place at Kennedy Space Center in Florida and will utilize a refurbished Falcon 9 first stage.