Saturday, 18 November, 2017

SpaceX successfully launches satellite from Kennedy Space Center

Elon Musk founder and CEO of SpaceX Getty Images | Robyn Beck Elon Musk founder and CEO of SpaceX
Derrick Tucker | 24 June, 2017, 01:32

This launch makes the BulgariaSat-1 mission SpaceX's second ever successful commercial reuse of an orbital vehicle, and leaves the company with two first stages that have now been both launched and recovered twice.

Following the separation of the satellite from the Falcon 9 rocket, members of SpaceX mission control will be hoping to witness the recycled craft touchdown safely on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Elon Musk's company successfully launched a satellite to orbit today (June 23) using a pre-flown Falcon 9 booster, pulling off the feat for the second time in less than three months.

"We have full confidence in the reused first stage", said Wendy Lewis, a spokeswoman for satellite manufacturer Space Systems Loral, which signed the launch contract with SpaceX. 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. 10 Iridium satellites will be onboard the Falcon9.

BulgariaSat-1, the first geostationary communications satellite in Bulgaria's history, was successfully deployed about 35 minutes after launch.

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The launch window opens at 4:25 p.m. EDT (1:25 p.m. local Pacific time), and the 30th Space Wing weather officials are forecasting no issues, with a 100 percent chance of launch as of Friday morning. The most expensive part of rocket-trips with materials and production costs being extremely high. Reduce the cost of access to space so that a small company in a small country can tap into the power of space communications.

The launch and landing was streamed on SpaceX's website. At least we should get a good fireball! SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Musk has championed reusability - once derided as a insane idea - to drive down launch costs and win a growing roster of customers, including the USA military.

The satellite is BulgariaSat-1, which is owned and operated by Bulgarian TV service provider Bulsatcom. On Sunday, an Iridium satellite is supposed to lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, on board another Falcon 9 rocket.

SpaceX has become expert at recovering the rockets.

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