SANTA BARBARA COUNTY (CBS SF / AP) — Ten new satellites for Iridium Communications’ global network have been successfully deployed in orbit after launch from California’s Central Coast.
The satellites were individually released from the upper stage of a Falcon 9 rocket that blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Friday morning.
Iridium now has 75 new satellites in orbit, including nine spares. The McLean, Virginia-based company’s $3 billion Iridium NEXT project replaces its entire original fleet.
The Falcon’s first stage successfully landed on a so-called droneship in the Pacific Ocean, marking its second launch and recovery.
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