After launching as scheduled from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 1:25 pm local time (2025 GMT), the Falcon 9's first stage returned less than eight minutes after taking off.
As planned, it landed on a barge floating in the Pacific Ocean.
SpaceX has successfully landed multiple rockets on both land and water, as part of its effort to bring down the cost of space flight by re-using multimillion dollar components instead of jettisoning them in the ocean after launch.
It was the second series of Iridium satellites launched by SpaceX, after a set of 10 were delivered in January.
The $3 billion project is a bid to upgrade the Virginia-based Iridium's global communications network.
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