The Falcon 9 rocket has a payload of satellites for Iridium Communications Inc.in order to improve its network of communications satellite.
Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies returned to the skies on Saturday with a flawless delivery of communications satellites into orbit, its first flight since a September 1 fireball destroyed a rocket and its payload on a Florida launch pad.
A camera aboard the first stage gave viewers a you-are-there experience as it returned to Earth, flared landing rockets and made a ideal upright touchdown on the floating pad.
With the investigation completed about 12 days ago and FAA approval given for flight on January 6, SpaceX was cutting things fine, but the company has made it clear that it intended the Falcon 9 to return to service as soon as possible.
The triple success - launch, drone-ship landing and mission completion - was a relief and welcome start to the new year for the company.
MS Dhoni: I wanted Virat Kohli to ease into captaincy
That always gave me a mindset of doing things my way and finding a way to make it work, as there is no one way to do anything. Dhoni said as captain his aim was always to finish off the games. "We have to try and get used to those communications".
With this successful launch, SpaceX plans to return to its regular launch schedule.
The program, called Iridium NEXT, was not only delayed by the SpaceX accident but again most recently as a powerful storm headed into California last weekend. So far, SpaceX has recovered 7 booster with hopes to reuse them to lower the cost of launches. SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launch happened in two stages from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base, just before 11AM PST. Numerous launches by SpaceX are commercial launches, though some of its missions also involve carrying supplies to the International Space Station. About one hour into the flight, the first of 10 Iridium satellites were deployed with the last going into polar orbit at one hour and 14 minutes since lift-off.
The investigation involved the Air Force, NASA, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration, which issued a license for the launch.
The company statement said that accident investigators concluded that a canister of helium inside the rocket's upper-stage oxygen tank had exploded.