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SpaceX preparing for Iridium return-to-flight launch
Posted: Sat, Dec 31, 2016, 10:50 AM ET (1550 GMT)
Falcon 9 fairing with Iridium-1 satellites (SpaceX) The return to flight of SpaceX's Falcon 9 grows closer as its payload of satellites is prepared for launch. Iridium released a photo Thursday of 10 Iridium Next satellites being encapsulated in the Falcon 9's payload fairing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, a step usually taken relatively close to a scheduled launch. That launch, the first since a Sept. 1 pad explosion destroyed a Falcon 9 and its satellite payload, is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 7, pending the outcome of an investigation into the explosion and the FAA's issuance of a commercial launch license for the mission.
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