SpaceX Falcon 9 carries Iridium satellites to orbit and frightens LA in process

by | Dec 26, 2017 | Launches, Satellites, Seradata News, SpaceX

Inhabitants of Los Angeles saw a strange sight in the sky on the night of 22 December 2017 (local time). Some thought it was a UFO or weird atmospheric phenomenon. However, the eery white light and clouds could be explained by the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying its Iridium payload, as planned, from the Vandenberg launch site in California, at 0127 GMT on 23 December 2017.

Ten 860 kg Iridium Next spacecraft (033 – 042), built by Thales Alenia Space, were carried to a near-polar orbit as part of a new constellation of low Earth orbit communications satellites. The flight marked the 18th launch attempt by SpaceX in 2017, a record for the firm, which eventually plans to launch 30-40 times per year. The launch incorporated a previously used first stage without landing legs and steerable grid fins. This was then intentionally not recovered, in effect making the Falcon 9V1.2 an expendable rocket on this flight.

Falcon 9 launch of Iridium satellites was seen over LA in December 2017. Courtesy: Obsballona.net

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

SpaceX launches C-band telecomms satellite SES-22

At  2104 GMT on 29 June, a SpaceX Falcon 9v1.2FT Block 5 rocket was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, USA. Read more

USSF allocates eight “national security” launches from previous multi-launch contracts to ULA and SpaceX

The USSF (United States Space Force) Space Systems Command has formally allocated the eight launches from the previous National Security Read more

SpaceX launches 59 satellites on its Transporter-5 flight of Falcon 9

SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9v1.2FT Block 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral, USA at 1835 GMT on 25 May 2022. Read more

A busy May for Musk: mulling over buying Twitter, fighting a sexual impropriety allegation, as SpaceX sells stock for funding

It has been a busy month for SpaceX and Tesla supremo Elon Musk. The world’s richest man grabbed headlines at Read more

SpaceX: Two rockets, two days and 106 new Starlink satellites

It was a busy weekend for SpaceX which launched two Falcon 9 rockets in less than 24 hours between 13 Read more

CACI to launch nav test payloads as part of demo to US military 

US defence contractor CACI International will launch two demonstration payloads on a York Space built satellite as part of an Read more

SpaceX launches Axiom AX-1 first all-commercial crew to ISS which returns to Earth late (Updated)

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 with the first privately crewed mission to the ISS from the Kennedy Space Centre, USA, Read more

Astranis buys a single dedicated Falcon 9 launch for four of its satellites

Techcrunch.com reports that spacecraft manufacturer and operator Astranis has agreed to purchase a single Falcon 9 launch to carry four Read more

Categories

Archives