The rocket blasted off from Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, the state of California, at 12:47 pm PDT (1947 GMT).
This first-stage booster has flown once before, a little more than four months ago when it launched the Zuma mission for the United States government-a satellite or spacecraft that was apparently lost in space after it failed to separate from the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket.
The U.S. Air Force has pushed back the launch of a new Global Position System satellite as it reviews the upgraded SpaceX rocket that is supposed to launch it into orbit.
On liftoff, the Falcon 9 first-stage engines will burn for approximately 2 minutes and 45 seconds before shutting down at main engine cutoff (MECO). Iridium shares rose more than 8 percent earlier Tuesday for the biggest intraday gain in nearly seven months.
SpaceX will not attempt to recover this core, as it is a Block 4 variant of the booster. It was found that a user-provided attachment mechanism failed to release the spacecraft from the Falcon 9's second stage. The stream will spring to life shortly before the scheduled launch opportunity and SpaceX will provide commentary and additional details as the event unfolds. This launch makes the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation a conglomeration of 75 satellites (nine of which are spares). SpaceX's Block 5 Falcon 9, which had its first flight 11 days ago carrying the Bangabandhu-1 telecom satellite, is designed for 10 reflights with the same booster and no refurbishment. He billed it as one of the "largest tech upgrades in history", telling investors he expects the rest of the satellites to go up this year, "completing our Iridium NEXT constellation and starting on a well deserved [capital expenditures] holiday".
Trump seethes over Russia probe, calls for end to 'SPYGATE'
In addition, Giuliani also said a decision would be made on a Mueller interview by June 12. The person declined to be identified because the briefing was classified.
Hawthorne-based SpaceX successfully launched several communication and research satellites on a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc Tuesday.
NASA's share of the GRACE-FO mission cost is $430 million.
The science provided by this pair of satellites is really interesting. A microwave ranging system will measure minute changes in that distance created by variations in the Earth's gravitational field.
Data collected by the mission, a joint effort between NASA and the German Aerospace Center, can help scientists measure the distribution of mass across planet Earth. GRACE-FO, a collaborative mission of NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), continues the work of the original GRACE mission in observing the movement of water and other mass around our planet by tracking the changing pull of gravity very precisely.