Be Amazed! SpaceX's Spectacular Iridium-4 Launch in Photos

SpaceX's Reused Falcon 9 on Iridium-4


The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket seen here launching 10 Iridium Next satellites on Dec. 22, 2017 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California was actually making its second flight. The rocket's first stage booster launched 10 more Iridium Next satellites into orbit in June 2017.

Headed for Space: SpaceX Iridium-4


A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket ascends spaceward carrying 10 Iridium Next communications satellite after launching from Space Launch Complex 4E of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Dec. 22, 2017.

SpaceX Iridium 4 Launch


SpaceX's two-stage Falcon 9 booster lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California tonight (Dec. 22) at 11:27 p.m. EST (0427 on Dec. 23 GMT), carrying 10 communications satellites for the commercial Iridium Next constellation.

SpaceX Iridium-4 Mission Patch


The SpaceX mission patch for the Iridium-4 mission.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.