Jun 26, 2017 07:03 AM EDT
SpaceX Launches Second Set Of Next-Gen Iridium Satellites Two Days After Falcon 9 [VIDEO]
Two days after SpaceX launched Falcon 9 rocket at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the space agency sent another mission into orbit with 10 new satellites for the voice and data relay network of Iridium. The launch was originally slated to transpire days earlier, but it was cancelled due to a last minute necessary valve replacement.
The initial phases of the launch went according to plan, the second stage enters the low Earth orbit prior to a second burn following the spacecraft separation. All 10 satellites of SpaceX separated as planned that concluded the one hour and 12 minutes after its liftoff. The rocket will return in Southern California in a couple days for inspections.
The double header launchings from different launch sites set a record for the shortest turnaround between SpaceX's two flights. The launches were a milestone the space agency could repeat as it reactivates a damaged launch pad later this year, Space Flight Now reported.
SpaceX rocket launches will be in line with the IridiumNEXT, in preparation for the launches, the American aerospace manufacturer conducted a static fire test on June 20. The eight planned Iridium missions will replace the current fleet of satellites Iridium with newer ones. The recent launches of the aerospace company is the second of the eight missions, the first launch wrapped up in January.
Nonetheless, the new satellites will help SpaceX support a larger bandwidth as well as a faster speed for the voice and data communication. The low-Earth-orbit satellites will have a coverage across entire Earth, which includes across oceans. However, Iridium CEO Matt Desch said in a statement that Iridium has six more launches scheduled over the following 12 months, The Verge reported.
CEO Matt Desch also said that their operations team is awaiting for this new batch of satellites and is geared up to fire up the testing and validation process.
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