The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Iridium-8 mission is at the top of the Space Launch Complex 4E at the Vandenberg Air Base in California, a day before the launch scheduled for January 1
SpaceX will launch 10 communications satellites and attempt a rocket landing on Friday morning (11 January), and you will see all the live action.  A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket carrying 10 spacecraft to the telecommunications company Iridium is scheduled to take off from the California Vandenberg Air Base on Friday at 10:31 am EST (1531 GMT, 7:31 am local time in California). You can watch a launch webcast here on Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or follow directly via SpaceX.
There will also be actions down: about 7 minutes after takeoff, the first stage of Falcon 9 will attempt a vertical touchdown on the SpaceX Droneship "Just read the instructions", which will be stationed in the Pacific Ocean.
This first stage already has a landing under his belt. The booster helped launch the Telstar 18V communications satellite in September 2018.
This reuse is a priority for SpaceX millionaire millionaire's founder and CEO, Elon Musk, who aims to drastically reduce the price of spaceflight. The company has already carried out dozens of rocket landings and reported several early Falcon 9 and Dragon cargo capsules (which bring robot supplies to the International Space Station in a SpaceX contract with NASA).
The 10 spaceships that rise today are the last of 75 satellites SpaceX is launching the constellation "Iridium NEXT", which will replace the previous generation of Iridium telecommunications. At the end, Iridium NEXT will include 66 operational satellites and nine in-orbit spare parts, plus six spare parts on the ground.
SpaceX is launching these 75 satellites over the course of eight Falcon 9 launches, the most recent of which took place in July 2018. Thus, the upcoming launch is known as Iridium-8.
The expected take-off on Friday was delayed several times, partly to give SpaceX time to solve some problems with the Falcon 9, Iridium CEO Matt Desch tweeted at the beginning of this week.
Mike Wall's book on the search for alien life, "Out There" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018, illustrated by Karl Tate) is now available. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall . Follow us on @ Spacedotcom or Facebook. Originally published on Space.com.