10 Commercial Satellites Launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base

Team Vandenberg supported the successful launch of 10 Iridium satellites on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-4, Oct. 9, at 5:37 a.m. PDT Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ian Dudley)
Team Vandenberg supported the successful launch of 10 Iridium satellites on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-4, Oct. 9, at 5:37 a.m. PDT Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ian Dudley)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — Ten commercial Earth-imaging satellites have been launched into space from California.

An Orbital ATK Minotaur C rocket blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 2:37 p.m. Tuesday.

Deployment was to occur about 12 minutes later during a communications blackout period. Confirmation of deployment was expected about an hour and a half after launch, according to the Orbital ATK webcast.

The six SkySat satellites and four miniature Dove satellites — each about the size of a loaf of bread — were bound for orbits 310 miles (500 kilometers) above the Earth to join dozens of other satellites that provide streams of data to San Francisco-based Planet Labs Inc.

The satellites are designed to gather medium- and high-resolution multispectral images of Earth for businesses, governments and non-governmental organizations.

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