SpaceX to Forgo Falcon 9 Booster Landing for 4th Iridium Satellite Launch; Matt Desch Comments

Matt Desch

A spokesperson for SpaceX has said the company intends not to land the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage as part of a mission to launch Iridium Communications’ fourth batch of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites into space, SpaceNews reported Wednesday.

Iridium’s satellites are scheduled Friday to take off aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California days after the launch services provider completed a static fire test of the rocket’s first stage.

“These are case-by-case decisions and are based on mission requirements and the needs of our manifest,” a SpaceX spokesperson told the publication in response to an inquiry.

Iridium CEO Matt Desch confirmed in response to a social media inquiry that the booster would not perform a landing and would not be recovered.

Desch noted the mission does not call for any “dogleg” maneuvers and does not entail any special operations to deliver the satellites to various orbital planes.

The planned launch would reuse the first stage that SpaceX deployed in June to bring the second set of Iridium NEXT satellites into orbit, the report added.

You may also be interested in...


Microsoft Azure Government Now Offers 142 Services With FedRAMP’s High Provisional Authorization

Microsoft now has 142 cloud services certified with high provisional authorization to operate under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, which aims to standardize the security of cloud products used in the federal government. The company said in a blog post published Thursday its offerings under the Azure Government cloud work to boost the security and compliance of federal agencies.

MCR Federal

MCR Federal Working to Provide Space Force With Modernized C2 Software

MCR Federal secured a contract in May to help the U.S. Space Force implement new command and control software equipped with modernized applications in an effort to replace aging space C2 software tools.

X-57 Maxwell

NASA to Hold High-Voltage Ground Tests for X-57 Electric Aircraft

NASA is slated to conduct ground tests for high-voltage operation of an experimental plane being designed by Empirical Systems Aerospace to help the agency create certification requirements for electric aircraft units.