Watch SpaceX launch its first mission of the year — and its last for customer Iridium

SpaceX is set to launch its first Falcon 9 rocket of the year this morning out of California — a flight that will also mark the first orbital mission of 2019 for the US. The company will be sending up 10 satellites for long-time customer Iridium. After takeoff, SpaceX will attempt its first rocket landing of the year by touching down on an autonomous drone ship in the Pacific.

Today’s flight, called Iridium-8, will send up the final batch of satellites for the Iridium NEXT constellation. SpaceX has held a contract with Iridium to launch all 75 in-orbit satellites for the constellation, which will provide telecommunications coverage from low Earth orbit. The constellation is a replacement and upgrade of Iridium’s original satellite fleet,…

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Author: Loren Grush