SpaceX launches final batch of next-gen satellites

Following two years of launches, SpaceX completed a major upgrade to a key telecommunications satellite network. A Falcon 9 rocket built by Elon Musk's space venture managed to launch the final ten satellites of a 75-piece constellation for Iridium (IRDM), a satellite operator, just after 7.30 am from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base, reported CNN. Dubbed Iridium NEXT, the second-generation satellite network aims to offer improved satellite-based internet and phone services as well as marine and air traffic monitoring. Iridium later on confirmed that all 10 new satellites had "successfully communicated" with ground systems. Iridium selected SpaceX in March 2010 to be the sole launch partner for the Iridium NEXT. SpaceX launched the first group of Iridium NEXT satellites on January 14, 2017, and has delivered a batch of Iridium satellites into orbit every few months since then. The $3 billion Iridium NEXT network promises quicker connections.