Falcon 9 Rocket Ready to Launch Friday from California Written 22 December 2017

Spaceflight Now reports that a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is set to “close out a record-breaking 2017 launch campaign Friday night with the delivery of 10 more Iridium voice and data relay satellites to orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.” The launch will be SpaceX’s 18th of the year, and will mark the fifth time a Falcon 9 “will fly with a previously-used first stage booster.” The Iridium Next satellites are being built by Thales Alenia Space and Orbital ATK. SpaceX will not try to recover the first-stage booster, which is now “rare” for the company, but the reasoning for doing so “has not been confirmed by SpaceX.” A company spokesman said, “These are case by case decisions and are based on mission requirements and the needs of our manifest.” However, SpaceX “may try to retrieve part of the payload shroud downrange from Vandenberg,” which SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk “said earlier this year the fairing costs around $5 million to produce for each launch.”
More Info (Spaceflight Now)