In it’s first attempt to launch since the catastrophic launchpad explosion at Canaveral on September 1, 2016, SpaceX is set to launch today from Vandenberg AFB.
The Falcon 9 rocket is lifting and placing 10 (each the size of a Mini Cooper) Iridium satellites into low-Earth orbit. This is the first of 7 launches to eventually place at least 70 Iridium satellites into orbit, updating the original satellites from 20 years ago. From SpaceX’s press kit, “The process of replacing the satellites one-by-one in a constellation of this size and scale has never been completed before.”
SpaceX has another objective as well: returning the first stage to Earth intact by landing it on “Just Read the Instructions”, a droneship in the Pacific Ocean.
The launch can be watched on the official SpaceX site,