SpaceX BulgariaSat-1 Mission On Track For Tomorrow

SpaceX BulgariaSat-1 Mission On Track For Tomorrow

SpaceX BulgariaSat-1 Mission On Track For Tomorrow

On Friday afternoon, SpaceX is set to launch a recycled Falcon 9 rocked from Cape Canaveral to send a communications satellite into orbit around Earth.

SpaceX is planning to launch a Falcon 9 rocket with a first stage that has previously been used to deliver satellites into space.

Roughly eight minutes after launch, the rocket's first stage completed a vertical landing on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. It's slated to take off from the historic 39A launch pad at Nasa Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, where Neil Armstrong left from before landing on the moon in 1969. If a payload is particularly heavy or going to a high orbit it's easier and more fuel efficient to land a booster on a drone ship instead of on land.

The companies did not say how much refurbishment the booster underwent, or how much of a discount came with the used rocket. 10 Iridium satellites will be onboard the Falcon9. Reusing rockets is a great way to bring down launch costs; building them from scratch costs millions of dollars.

SpaceX successfully launched and landed a Falcon 9 rocket Friday, the first of two launches this weekend.

"People don't realize that, for small countries and small companies like us, without SpaceX, there was no way we would ever be able to even think about space", Maxim Zayakov, he CEO of BulgariaSat, told writer Stephen Clark of Spaceflight Now.

SpaceX now has 12 booster landings under its belt, as well as three total orbital re-flights - two of Falcon 9 first stages, and one of the robotic Dragon cargo capsule.

SpaceX seems to have upped their game since the last re-flight of a previously-used rocket in March 2017. Its next launch is scheduled just two days later, with the ramped-up cadence putting the company on track to achieve the 20 to 24 total missions it's targeting for the year. "It's needed to launch off a backlog of satellites that were delayed because of earlier problems". Within a month of the launch, the ground control room will carry out the necessary tests and settings before the satellite can become operationally ready to broadcast.

Get more information about SpaceX here.

The satellite is BulgariaSat-1, which is owned and operated by Bulgarian TV service provider Bulsatcom.

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