Iridium satellites, climatic research art take off from California

The Falcon 9 rocket took off from Vandenberg Air Base on the central coast of California at approximately 12:47 p.m. local time. The five Iridium spacecraft separated one by one 65 minutes after the mission.

Although SpaceX has already recovered and reused the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket, the company will not recycle that piece of equipment since this launch. The rocket was a version of Block 4, designed for two or three reflectors of the same first stage.

SpaceX, the rocket company founded by Elon Musk, will use its Falcon 9 rocket to launch seven satellites on Tuesday: two states, NASA satellites and five commercial communications satellites. SpaceX said it was "very close" to catch the fairing, but it was lost again. The first and second stages of Falcon 9 will be separated seconds later. SpaceX has registered for a total of eight Iridium NEXT launches with the goal of putting 75 new satellites into orbit.

Iridium anticipates completing the Iridium Next constellation for this fall. Orbital ATK integrated the satellites at its Gilbert, Arizona factory.

See the live launch of GRACE-FO right here. It is a successor of the original GRACE mission, also in the USA. UU When they pbad over a part of the Earth where the force of the gravity field increases or decreases, it will affect the distance between the two spacecraft slightly. GRACE Follow-On will spend the next five years mapping the gravity of the Earth to study the effects of climate change around the world. Then, to obtain information about the distribution of the mbad below, the GRACE-FO satellites do not need to look down; instead, they will only "look" at each other and measure their separation by constantly sending microwave signals back and forth.

"It can not be handled well until it can be measured, GRACE-FO provides a unique way to measure water in many of its phases, which allows us to manage water resources more effectively." The spacecraft's sensors may collect radio occultation data from the Global Positioning System for atmospheric sounding, similar to that provided by the US COSMIC constellation. UU And the commercial satellites operated by Spire.

NASA contributed $ 430 million to the new mission and to the German contribution was 77 million euros, officials said. GFZ spent approximately $ 91 million on its contribution to the mission.

Original story: SpaceX will attempt its tenth launch of the year on Tuesday, a mission serving two different customers.

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