National Transportation Safety Board

SpaceX launches first rocket since explosion in Florida

SpaceX launches first rocket since explosion in Florida

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from California on Saturday, marking the company's first launch since a fireball engulfed a similar rocket on a Florida launch pad more than four months ago.

The two-stage rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9:54 a.m. carrying a payload of 10 satellites for Iridium Communications Inc., which is replacing its entire global network with 70 next-generation satellites.

The satellites were expected to be deployed about an hour after launch.

About nine minutes after the rocket blasted off, to cheers from the control room, its jettisoned first stage landed upright on a so-called droneship in the Pacific Ocean south of...

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