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This is the fifth launch for the company, carrying 10 satellites in what will eventually be a constellation of 75 communications satellites called Iridium Next.

The Falcon 9 rocket being used for Friday's launch was previously used in October for an Iridium satellite mission, and it was successfully recovered for re-use.

On Thursday, the USA communications regulator gave formal approval to a plan by Elon Musk's SpaceX to build a global broadband network using satellites. A total of eight Iridium NEXT launches are now planned with SpaceX delivering a total of 75 new satellites to orbit. And last December, Iridium became the first SpaceX customer to launch a mission on a rocket it used before when the Iridium-4 mission launched with the same booster SpaceX used to launch 10 other satellites on its Iridium-2 flight in June 2017. A seventh mission, known as CRS-14, is slated for Monday, during which SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft will resupply the International Space Station as part of the company's contract with NASA.

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.

Friday's planned launch was the first of two planned by SpaceX in the next four days.

"SpaceX applied and received a license from NOAA that included conditions on their capability to live-stream from space".




"We're working with NOAA to address these restrictions in order to hopefully be able to bring you live views from orbit in the future".

However, it did try to land the fairing - the rocket's nose cone - on a SpaceX-owned boat named "Mr Steven", which is equipped with a huge net.

SpaceX was chosen to launch a constellation of 75 satellites in eight missions. This spectacular launch represents the sixth launch of 2018, including the Falcon Heavy launch in February as well as the fifth Falcon 9 launch.

Iridium, based in McLean, Virginia, provides mobile voice and data communications. The remaining three launches are expected to be completed over the next several months.

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

Elon Musk, SpaceX's founder and chief executive, said via Twitter that the air wake from the fairing's descent interfered with the steering on an attached parafoil.


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