SpaceX Successfully Launched Iridium-3 Mission

Image: A photo of the SpaceX launch just after first stage separation, taken from Ventura County.

SpaceX, a U.S. private spaceflight company, successfully delivered 10 next generation global satellite to low-earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) in California's Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Boeing already has a plan to develop, launch and operate a constellation of 3,000 satellites in low Earth orbit. The launch took place at Vanderberg Air Force station in California. This mission will put the SES-11/EchoStar 105 satellite into geostationary orbit. SpaceX has been reusing Falcon 9 first stages and is pursuing fully reusable rockets in an effort to lower the cost of spaceflight. The company's original block 1 satellites are being replaced by 66 Iridium NEXT spacecraft.

Over the hour that followed, the Falcon 9 second stage released Iridium's satellites, one by one.

The first two launches of the Iridium series took place from VAFB on January 14 and June 25.

Today was the first flight of this particular Falcon 9 first-stage booster, a company representative told Space.com. The company partnered with Thales Alenia Space for the manufacture, assembly and testing of all 81 Iridium NEXT satellites. We have also started integration of the 64th satellite. It came a little more than eight hours after a Chinese Long March 2D rocket sent a Venezuelan imaging satellite into orbit, and a little less than 12 hours before a Japanese H-2A rocket was due to launch a navigation satellite to boost Global Positioning System service in Japan.

Musk celebrated the launching of the satellites into space on Instagram.

Bloomberg created a helpful infographic of SpaceX's many success and mishaps since beginning their rocket journey in 2010.

Base officials called the launch successful. Satellite Time & Location, Short Burst Data and Iridium PTT are just a few examples of global services only possible on our network.

He added that the company is on track to complete its next-generation satellite constellation by 2018.

Iridium announced last week that one new service set to debut with the Iridium Next fleet has begun in-orbit testing.