Wednesday, December 08, 2021

SpaceX has 1st successful rocket launch since explosion last September

Washington, Jan 14 (EFE).- A Falcon 9 rocket of the SpaceX aerospace company had a successful liftoff from the launch pad at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base, the company’s first launch since a similar unmanned rocket of the company exploded last September at Cape Canaveral in Florida.

A handout photo made available on 14 January 2017 by SpaceX showing a Falcon 9 rocket with 10 Iridium NEXT communication satelites on board lifting off at the Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, USA, 14 January 2017. A Falcon 9 rocket of the SpaceX aerospace company successfully lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, the company’s first launch since a similar unmanned rocket of the company exploded in September 2016. EFE

The rocket, which forms part of a space project by the private company headed by the billionaire co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, is on a mission to carry 10 commercial satellites into space for Iridium Communications, which plans to install up to 70 of them by early 2018.

The launch of the Falcon 9 was planned for last Monday, but flight plans were put on hold due to the intense wind and rain.
Liftoff finally came Saturday at 1754 GMT as planned.

The problem three months ago occurred on the launch pad, where a Falcon 9 rocket like the one launched this Saturday was supposed to put an Amos 6 communications satellite in orbit for the Israeli firm Spacecom.

The satellite was meant to provide communications services for an area covering from the coast of the United States to Europe, Africa and the Middle East, while stepping up the communications capacity of the Israeli government.

Amos 6 was also meant to be the first satellite to transmit the social network Facebook and was to form part of a campaign to bring the Internet from space to remote areas.

It wasn’t the first time a rocket of that kind suffered an explosion – in June 2015 one blew up shortly after liftoff.