Vandenberg Iridium launch by Falcon 9 sees first stage successfully recovered…as Elon Musk reveals shiny test rocket…before SpaceX announces job cuts

by | Jan 11, 2019 | Launches, Satellites, Seradata News, SpaceX

A SpaceX Falcon 9v1.2FT Block 5 rocket successfully launched 10 Iridium next generation satellites from Vandeberg, California, on 11 January 2018, at 1531 GMT. The satellites carried were Iridium NEXT 68-77. The vehicle’s reusable first stage was successfully landed on the drone ship “Just Read the Instructions” located in the Pacific Ocean at 1539 GMT. The B1049 first stage had flown before on the Telstar 18 Vantage in September 2018.

This mission completed the new Iridium NEXT constellation of 66 satellites and nine spares – fully replacing the older Iridium constellation’s satellites most of which have now been deorbited.

Meanwhile, SpaceX has revealed initial photographs of its new “test hopper” second stage prototype as an eventual BFS (Starship) rocket stage/spacecraft. This will fly in the spring on “up and down” test flights. A longer fully orbital version is due for launch in June. This will be single-stage-to-orbit capable – albeit with only a very small payload. It is more likely to be used as the upper stage of the main BFR booster.

However, not everything is going the firm’s way. SpaceX has revealed plans to reduce its workforce by up to 10 per cent. This equates to a loss of about 600-700 jobs. This is not a “deadwood” reduction of poorly performing staff, as the company attempted to do four years ago.  Instead SpaceX admits that it is letting go of many talented and experienced staff as it attempts to cut costs.

The Starship hopper prototype appears to be made out of stainless steel. Courtesy: Elon Musk/Twitter

 

 

 

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

Ten Iridium satellites launched successfully by Falcon 9 but fairing parafoil recovery fails again

At 1413 GMT on 30 March, a Falcon 9 v1.2 Block 4 rocket lifted off from the Vandenberg launch site in California Read more

Falcon 9 launches Iridium satellites from Vandenberg using reusable first stage with new titanium grid fins

While the reused first stage Falcon 9v1.2 FT-RR (Block 3) launch of Bulgariasat 1 from Florida grabbed the headlines, two days later, on Read more

SpaceX Falcon 9 comes back in style with successful launch of Iridium satellites but doubts remain

Elon Musk and his SpaceX team scored a successful return launch with its Falcon 9 launch of 10 Iridium Next Read more

Satellite 2016: Iridium Next Generation is on the launch pad (well almost)

At the Satellite 2016 show in Washington D.C. excitement at the low-Earth orbit satellite operator, Iridium, is palpable as they approach Read more

Block 5 first stage reused on Falcon 9 launch of Merah Putih

  [caption id="attachment_89893" align="alignnone" width="557"] Merah Putih launch mission patch. Courtesy: SpaceX[/caption] The Merah Putih communications satellite was successfully launched at Read more

A tale of two constellation launches: last Ariane 5 ES completes Galileo constellation while Falcon 9 puts more Iridiums into orbit

  [caption id="attachment_89767" align="alignnone" width="599"] Looking shorter than its brothers, an Ariane 5 ES successfully put four Galileo navsats into Read more

More reusable Block 5 version of Falcon 9 rocket makes debut with launch of Bangladeshi comsat

Independent analyses have shown that reusable launch vehicle elements have to be capable of reuse ten times, with minimal refurbishment, to Read more

Spaceship prototype SN8 flies well…well right up until the explosive crash landing

In what most independent observers judged to be a successful test flight (well, for most of it), the Starship prototype Read more

Cookies & Privacy

Click here to read about use of cookies on the website

Categories

Archives