Over the next 14 months, the company plans six additional Falcon 9 launches to deploy 60 more Iridium satellites that will completely replace the constellation.
In the short-term, the successful launch helps put SpaceX back on track. The explosion and subsequent four-month grounding created a backlog of launches, including cargo missions for NASA to the International Space Station. September’s explosion was SpaceX’s second failure in 15 months; a Falcon 9 rocket carrying NASA cargo disintegrated in flight in June 2015
SpaceX hopes to launch its larger Falcon Heavy this spring. The Heavy, years behind schedule, would become the world’s most powerful rocket since NASA retired the Saturn 5 more than 40 years ago.
SpaceX also plans to refly one of its recovered boosters this spring. By reusing instead of throwing away rocket boosters, SpaceX hopes to significantly reduce the cost of launches.
SpaceX has described plans to offer satellite internet services with more than 4,000 satellites. The forecasts described by The Wall Street Journal, which were produced in early 2016, show how much the company is depending on this new business.
SpaceX projected that current rocket launching business would quintuple in revenue, to $5 billion, in 2025. Satellite internet services, still in the early planning stages, were projected to bring in more than $30 billion in revenue and generate the bulk of more than $20 billion in profit for the company.
First stage has landed on Just Read the Instructions pic.twitter.com/W0EoLaO4YR— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 14, 2017
Successful deployment of 10 @IridiumComm NEXT satellites has been confirmed.— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 14, 2017