Watch live: SpaceX to deliver Iridium NEXT satellites to space in first launch of 2019

Jan. 11 (UPI) — SpaceX and its Falcon 9 rocket are ready to launch the final batch of Iridium NEXT satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The Iridium-8 mission is scheduled to launch at 10:31 a.m. ET on Friday.

“Falcon 9 and 10 Iridium NEXT satellites vertical on SpaceX’s California launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base,” SpaceX confirmed via Twitter on Thursday.

SpaceX will provide a live feed of the launch — the first U.S. space launch of 2019. The broadcast will begin 20 minutes prior to liftoff.

“This is the eighth and final set of satellites in a series of 75 total satellites that SpaceX will launch for Iridium’s next generation global satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT,” SpaceX announced on its website.

According to the private space company, the weather forecast for Friday morning’s launch is 60 percent favorable.

Like so many launches in recent weeks, the Iridium-8 mission was twice delayed. It was originally scheduled to launch on Jan. 7.

Per usual, SpaceX will attempt to land the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage back on Earth.

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Science News – UPI.com

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