SpaceX launch as filmed from 8500ft above ground

The SpaceX Falcon 9 lifted off from Vandenberg at 9:54 a.m. on Saturday, and was the first launch for the space rocket developer since a catastrophic failure in September.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket returned to flight on Saturday, four months after an explosion on the launch pad almost devastated the program. Saturday morning's launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California went off without a hitch.

Marking SpaceX's seventh successful landing, the company also managed to successfully land the first stage rocket booster on a floating platform known as a drone ship, named "Just Read the Instructions". SpaceX hopes to launch 20 to 24 rockets this year, an aggressive pace given that eight missions were completed in 2016.

More news: Likely to be recalled by Chelsea

The new satellites will replace and enhancing Iridium's existing network of satellites that span the entire globe. Space X officials also mentioned once again after Saturday's launching that they have identified all possible causes of the September 1 accident a year ago during pre launch testing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, and took all necessary corrective action.

A little more than an hour after launch, Musk announced that all 10 Iridium satellites were successfully deployed into orbit. Iridium's unique inter-satellite communication links from nearby satellites will be repositioned to point to the new Iridium NEXT satellite as it prepares to take over service. For the satellite company, the stakes were stratospheric. "Seeing these first ten satellites launch successfully into space is the result of a unique assembly-line process at our satellite manufacturing facility that represents a remarkable achievement". SpaceX plans to refurbish and re-use the boosters, starting this year. The first stage contains tanks for liquid oxygen and kerosene as well as nine engines that power the rocket and payload into space, then separates two-and-a-half minutes into flight as the single-engine second stage ignites and continues on to place payloads in the proper orbit.

  • Adam Floyd