SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Makes First Launch Since September Explosion

Washington, January 14 (QNA) – An unmanned SpaceX rocket blasted off from a California launch pad on Saturday and delivered 10 satellites into low Earth orbit.

It is the first batch of 70 satellites the private aerospace company is scheduled to send into orbit for Iridium, a Virginia-based mobile communications firm.

The flight marks the return to space for SpaceX after one of its Falcon 9 rockets exploded on a Florida launch pad during a test fire in September, destroying the rocket and its payload.

Saturday’s Falcon 9 launch had been scheduled for last weekend but poor weather at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in southern California forced a postponement, dpa reported.

Minutes after the launch, the main component of the Falcon 9 successfully soared back toward Earth and landed on a drone ship stationed in the Pacific Ocean.

SpaceX first pulled off such a rocket landing in 2015. Reusuable rockets are considered key to lowering the cost of space flight as NASA turns over the transport to the International Space Station (ISS) of goods, and eventually astronauts, to private companies.

SpaceX was founded in 2002 by Tesla Motors chief executive Elon Musk.

It is the first private company to complete commercial space missions, including re-supply flights to the ISS. It has made over 30 successful launches to date, and seeks to be the first to offer passenger flights into space.

Source: Qatar News Agency