SpaceX Returns to Flight After September's Explosion
SpaceX on Saturday carried out its first rocket launch since September’s launchpad explosion. The launch, of a Falcon 9 carrying communications satellites for telecom giant Iridium, was a major test for SpaceX after September’s mishap called into question the company’s $468 million contract with Iridium. The first-stage of the launch at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on Saturday was successful, with the company reporting on Twitter that the satellites were in parking orbit. The launch is part of the company’s plan to replace the telecom giant’s current network of satellites in what SpaceX called “one of the largest 'tech upgrades' in history.” SpaceX is set to carry out seven launches for Iridium carrying 10 satellites each time.