SpaceX has successfully completed the launch of 10 satellites into low Earth orbit for Irdium from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on 14 January 2017. The successful launch brings the Falcon 9's success rate up to 28 out of 30 since its debut in 2010.
Following the launch, the first stage rocket booster was successfully returned and landed on a drone ship, the seventh successful landing for SpaceX to date.
In the next 18 months, Iridium plans to deploy its Iridium NEXT satellites to replace the existing constellation of satellites. Iridium has a seven-flight contract with SpaceX worth more than US$468 million, to launch 10 satellites per launch.
"Today Iridium launches a new era in the history of our company and a new era in space as we start to deliver the next-generation of satellite communications," said Iridium CEO Matt Desch said in a statement following the successful launch.