A rocket launch from the Central Coast Saturday is being called a huge success, after it successfully carried a cluster of satellites into orbit, and the primary booster was successfully recovered.
The SpaceX launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base carried ten IridumNEXT satellites into a low earth orbit. The communications satellites are part of 80 next generation craft intended to replace an existing network.
After the launch, the primary booster then successfully landed on an unmanned barge in the Pacific. The SpaceX system is intended to make launches more affordable by reusing part of the rockets.
SpaceX had now recovered a half dozen of the boosters, but hasn’t tried reusing any of them for a second launch cycle yet.