Photos: Falcon 9 Takes Flight with Fourth Set of Iridium-NEXT Communications Satellites

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from SLC-4E at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base at 1:27:34 UTC on December 23, 2017 with the fourth group of ten Iridium-NEXT communications satellites. Using flight-proven first stage B1036, Falcon 9 provided a spectacular sight in the twilight skies over California as it departed to the south with the first stage going through post-separation testing before being expended via ocean impact while the second stage was tasked with a pair of burns to inject the ten satellites into a 625-Kilometer orbit to check off SpaceX’s 18th successful mission in 2017, the fifth with a re-used first stage.

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All Photos Below: SpaceX



All Photos Below: U.S. Air Force, 30th Space Wing