SpaceX successfully launched and landed a used Falcon 9 rocket Friday at Kennedy Space Center. The second batch of 10 satellites is now scheduled to launch on a Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California Sunday (June 25), making a weekend doubleheader for SpaceX.
SpaceX will attempt to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket launching BulgariaSat-1 on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
SpaceX has successfully launched and landed a recycled Falcon 9 rocket for the second time.
The satellite went into a relatively high orbit, which caused the rocket booster to generate a lot of force and heat as it reentered Earth's atmosphere, making this particular landing hard to stick. It's the second of eight planned Iridium NEXT launches for the commercial satellite company.
SpaceX's next launch happens in record time: Sunday at 1:25 p.m. At least we should get a good fireball! The payload is massive to fulfill the demand for high quality high definition television throughout the region that includes the Balkans, Eastern and Western Europe and beyond. "We think this is going to be the way of the future, that launch vehicles aren't going to be throwaways". As it's done in the past, SpaceX will be using one of its drone ships due to the launch trajectory.
SpaceX seems to have upped their game since the last re-flight of a previously-used rocket in March 2017. It's unclear if SpaceX plans to fly that booster for a third time. 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.
The rapid-fire launch schedule over the past two months reflects SpaceX's drive to work off a backlog of satellites delayed by earlier problems, including a September 1 launch pad explosion that destroyed a Falcon 9 and its satellite payload at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The reusable nature of SpaceX's delivery rockets is a concerted effort to drive down costs associated with space travel and transport.
An engine test of the Falcon 9 at Vandenberg was completed Wednesday setting up SpaceX for the launch with no issues.
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