Liftoff! SpaceX nails second launch in three days


“SpaceX nailed its second launch in three days today (June 25) with liftoff of a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California carrying 10 satellites owned by Iridium Communications. The 23-story tall booster lifted off from a fog-shrouded Pacific Coast launch pad at 1:25 p.m. local time (4:25 p.m. EDT/2025 GMT). The first stage separated as planned 2.5 minutes later, turned around and headed back toward a drone barge floating in the ocean. Redesigned, larger grid fins, mounted near the top of the 14-story-tall first stage, helped guide the returning booster to a precision touchdown despite strong winds, marking the 13th time a SpaceX rocket has returned intact to Earth. Two of those rockets, including the one used to send Bulgaria’s first communications satellite into orbit on Friday, had launched on previous missions, demonstrating the boosters’ reusability.” (06/25/17)