Saturday, January 14, 2017

Congrats to Spacex

Congratulations to Spacex on a successful return to flight and launch from Vandenburg AFB of the first 10 of the new Iridium satellite constellation.  The corrections to the problem experienced last September worked fine.  Launch was on-time into a window only 1 second long. 

The first stage successfully turned around,  re-entered,  and landed on the drone ship just off Vandenburg.  Video from the first stage was maintained all the way through touchdown.  It was spectacular. 

The second stage successfully placed itself and the payload into the transfer orbit.  After reaching the right point about 40 minutes later,  the second stage relighted briefly and finalized the orbit.  All 10 satellites were successfully released in sequence as planned. 

Well done,  Spacex!

Upcoming things to watch for this year:  more satellite launches,  more cargo deliveries to the International Space Station,  and the first flight of the new Falcon-Heavy rocket.  

Update 2-20-17:  Successful launch of Falcon-9/cargo Dragon to ISS as CRS-10 from historic pad 39A,  and successful return of first stage to landing at Canaveral.  

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