Falcon 9 Returns to Flight with flawless Iridium Satellite Delivery & successful Booster Landing

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket made an impressive Return to Flight on Saturday, blasting off from California and earning double check-marks by achieving a flawless delivery of ten Iridium-NEXT communications satellites and successfully landing the rocket’s first stage at sea for the first time after a West Coast launch.

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Falcon 9 stands ready for Saturday Liftoff on critical Return to Flight with 10 Iridium Satellites

A SpaceX Falcon 9 is standing tall atop its West Coast launch pad in California, working towards a Saturday morning liftoff on its long-awaited Return to Flight mission following the September 1st testing accident and subsequent grounding of the rocket.

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SpaceX receives FAA Launch License for upcoming Iridium Mission

The Federal Aviation Administration – the government body responsible for licensing all U.S.-operated space launches – granted a launch license to SpaceX covering upcoming missions from California, including next week’s Iridium-NEXT flight that will mark SpaceX’s return to flight mission after the dramatic September 1st explosion of a Falcon 9 rocket in Florida.

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SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket completes Static Fire Test ahead of critical Return to Flight Launch

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket fired up its nine first stage engines on Thursday in a critical Static Fire Test carried out at Vandenberg Air Force Base in preparation for the rocket’s Return to Flight mission planned for Monday – coming back from a four-month stand-down following the dramatic September 1st testing accident at Cape Canaveral.

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SpaceX completes Falcon 9 Failure Investigation, Missions to resume Sunday from Vandenberg

SpaceX concluded an exhaustive investigation into the cause of the dramatic explosion of a Falcon 9 rocket during a pre-launch test on September 1 and is now looking forward to returning to launch operations as early as Sunday

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2016 Space Launch Statistics

The year 2016 saw a total of 85 known orbital launch attempts operated by eight nations from space ports in

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Inmarsat Satellite switches from Falcon Heavy to Ariane 5, Falcon 9 Return to Flight slips to 2017

Delays to the maiden flight of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, exacerbated by the prolonged stand-down of the company’s Falcon 9 rocket after a testing accident prompted satellite operator Inmarsat to move one of its payloads from a planned launch on Falcon Heavy to the European Ariane 5 rocket to ensure a mid-2017 liftoff.

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