Saturday morning's SpaceX California launch is successful
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from California today, marking the company's first launch since a similar rocket exploded on a Florida launch pad more than four months ago.
The two-stage rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9:54 a.m. carrying a payload of 10 satellites for Iridium Communications Inc., which is replacing its entire global network with 70 next-generation satellites.
The satellites were expected to be deployed about an hour after lift off.
About nine minutes after the rocket blasted off, to cheers from the control room, its jettisoned first stage landed upright on a so-called droneship in the Pacific Ocean south of Vandenberg - part of Spacex's effort to make boosters reusable.