SpaceX kicks off rocket launch double feature

Laverne Mann
June 24, 2017

BulgariaSat-1 is a geostationary communications satellite meant to be located at the Bulgarian orbital position, which will provide direct-to-home television (DTH) and data communications services to South East Europe and other European regions. "Of Course I Still Love You" is the name of the drone ship which is situated in the Atlantic Ocean waiting for the Falcon9's landing. "Good chance rocket booster doesn't make it back", Musk commented before the 3:10 p.m. launch.

SpaceX's rocket launches are events, more than anything else. Pacific, another Falcon 9 will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Southern California, sending up ten Iridium cell phone satellites. It would be the first time the company launched two rockets the same weekend though they'd be taking off from opposite coasts. That satellite will provide broadcast and communications service throughout eastern Europe. It's expected to be in operation for at least 15 years.

According to former Obama space policy advisor and SpaceX official Phil Larson, SpaceX has designed all of their hardware with rapid launch cadence in mind. SpaceX sent up the first 10 of these satellites in January, and Sunday's mission will deliver the second batch.

The launch from pad 39A had been scheduled for this past Monday, but it was delayed because of issues with a valve on the Falcon 9 rocket.

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Despite that warning, the first stage of the rocket settled safely onto the aquatic landing pad. Just two or three launches from the same vehicle before retiring it for good would be a major improvement over the previous single-use systems. The company hopes to turn around first-stage boosters for reflight nearly immediately, as it works to expand affordable commercial space access. That will carry the second of 10 installments for Iridium's massive communications-satellite refresh.

SpaceX wants to reuse its rockets in order to drastically reduce the price of a single launch.

Instead of simply using a rocket once and allowing it to burn up in the atmosphere, SpaceX has started to bring back these expensive rocket pieces to slash the cost of flying to space through reuse.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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