SpaceX launches rocket with satellites from Vandenberg AFB

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It was the first year anniversary of the first launch of the Falcon 9 rockets.

In February the company's Falcon Heavy, the world's most powerful rocket, blasted off on its maiden test flight carrying Musk's cherry red Tesla roadster vehicle.

This is the fifth set of 10 satellites that SpaceX has launched for Iridium, whose $3 billion project is expected to include a total of 81 satellites - with 75 launched by SpaceX.

Thanks to SpaceX's efforts to reuse hardware, its Falcon 9 rocket is drastically cheaper than competing rockets - and the customers keep lining up.

"This is the first approval of a USA -licensed satellite constellation to provide broadband services using a new generation of low-Earth orbit satellite technologies", the Federal Communications Commission said in a statement.

Per the reports, SpaceX used an recovered first stage booster which was recovered and refurbished to be used as the first stage in the Friday launch.

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Friday's launch used the same first-stage rocket from Iridium's similar mission in October. With Friday's launch, there were 50 newer-style Iridium satellites in space.

For this mission SpaceX will not be recovering the rocket.

Following the Iridium-4 launch previous year, the first stage rocket made a successful landing aboard SpaceX's West Coast Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS), however, it was not recovered again following its second flight on Friday.

The company also attempted to safely recapture the rocket's nose cone, also known as a payload fairing - but there's no word yet about whether it was successful. Speaking on the subject of the fairing, Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, indicated that it would be easier to restore this part for a future flight provided that their recovery plans are successful.

"It's a giant steel and webbing catcher's mitt superstructure on a high-speed ocean ship".

SpaceX did not seek to recover the booster after the launch, but did deploy a boat nicknamed "Mr. Steven" to attempt to catch one of the payload fairing halves as they fell toward the Pacific Ocean. And on Friday morning, just before launch, it was positioned due west of Baja California. The 229-foot-tall rocket with nine Merlin 1D engines attached to its first stage produced a staggering 1.7 million pounds of thrust taking the rocket to the speed of sound in just two-and-a-half minutes. But this was one of the rare occasions Musk has acknowledged his rocket startup's attempts to recover the fairing after launch.