Four months after launch pad explosion,SpaceX Falcon rocket blasted off from California on Saturday welcoming the company on track.
The 230-foot (70-meter) rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9:54 a.m. PST (1754 GMT) to deliver 10 satellites into orbit for Iridium Communications Inc.
“It’s a clean sweep – 10 for 10,” SpaceX launch commentator John Insprucker said after the satellites were released.
It can be remembered that SpaceX founder and entrepreneur Elon Musk’s ambitious flight plans had been banned since the Sept. 1 explosion during fueling ahead of a pre-flight test in Florida, USA.
Tracking the SpaceX welcome mission, report said about 10 minutes following Saturday’s launch, the first stage of the rocket, which had separated from the rest of craft, successfully touched down on a platform in the Pacific Ocean, a feat previously accomplished by four other returning Falcon rockets.
Musk-led company intends to reuse its rockets to cut costs in sending materials in the space.
In a tweet, Musk said “Rocket is stable,” “Mission looks good.”
The September explosion destroyed a $62 million SpaceX booster and a $200 million Israeli communications satellite that it was to put into orbit two days later.
SpaceX said the recent flight begins to clear a logjam of more than 70 planned missions, worth more than $10 billion, involving SpaceX Falcon rockets, which last flew in August.
According to SpaceX spokeswoman Diane Hockenberry, the launch is the first in a seven-flight contract with Iridium worth $468.1 million.
In a report published by Wall Street Journal, the company aims to launch 27 rockets in 2017, more than triple the eight flights the privately held firm managed in 2016.
In addition to its dozens of commercial customers, SpaceX is one of two companies hired by NASA to fly cargo to the International Space Station.
This year, SpaceX’s agenda includes the debut launch of a heavy-lift booster, flying its first reused rocket and repairing the Florida launchpad damaged in the explosion.