Our American political future may seem bleak these days, but that did not stop the ingenuity of American rocket science from prevailing, showcasing a jaw-dropping return-to-flight launch this past Saturday, January 14, 2017. Following a week of launch delays due to major rain storms that may just have solved California's drought problem, Falcon 9 carrying the first of its Iridium satellite payloads received the all clear, performing flawlessly against a bright, blue sky.
Mind-blowing beauty during dark times ~ #ThisIsOurHumanFuture— Claudia (@ct_la) January 15, 2017
Thank you, Elon.
RT @elonmusk: Liftoff pic.twitter.com/sBwNlsZObs
Not only did Falcon 9 deliver the first 10 of at least 70 next-gen Iridium satellites into orbit, the rocket's first stage returned to Earth, sticking the landing right on top of the X painted on SpaceX's ocean-going barge in the Pacific, downrange from Vandenberg Air Force Base. SpaceX has launch pads both at Vandenberg in Southern California and at Cape Canaveral on Florida's Space Coast.
You can learn more about Iridium Corporation and its fleet of satellites here.
Below is SpaceX's live webcast from countdown to satellite deployment to landing. Enjoy!