In Photos: SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launches the Last Iridium Next Communications Satellites

SpaceX Wraps Up Iridium Missions

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SpaceX launched its eighth and final batch of Iridium Next communications satellites into orbit on Jan. 11, 2019, completing the constellation of 75 satellites. See photos of the historic mission here! [Full Story: SpaceX Launches 10 Iridium Satellites Into Orbit, Then Sticks Rocket Landing]

Ready for Launch in 3, 2, 1 ...

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The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Iridium-8 mission stands atop Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Liftoff!

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SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket carrying 10 Iridium Next communications satellites lifts off from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California

A Flawless Liftoff

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The Iridium-8 mission lifted off from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 7:31 a.m. local time (10:31 a.m. EST, 1531 GMT).

Flames and Smoke

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Smoke billows out from underneath the Falcon 9 rocket just seconds after liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Beautiful Flames

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A close-up photo of the Iridium-8 launch reveals the rocket's flames in stunning detail.

A Dazzling View of the West Coast

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The Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Iridium-8 mission rides a pillar of flame into the morning sky after lifting off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The Pacific Ocean is visible in the background.

Deploying the Satellites

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The ninth satellite in the final batch of the Iridium Next constellation deployed about 70 minutes after the SpaceX Falcon 9 launched on Jan. 11.

Heading Back Home

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The Falcon 9 rocket booster returns to Earth after delivering the Iridium-8 mission into orbit.

Touchdown!

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After launching the Iridium-8 mission, the first stage of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket returned to Earth and stuck an upright landing on the droneship "Just Read the Instructions" about seven minutes after liftoff.

The Falcon Soars to the Skies

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After a successful liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the Falcon 9 rocket soared into space to deliver the Iridium satellites into orbit.

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