BulgariaSat-1 will provide high quality Direct-to-Home television and communications services to the Balkans, other regions of Europe and North Africa. So far, SpaceX has been able to recover 12 rocket boosters, fire off two reused Falcon 9 first stages and launch a used Dragon cargo capsule so far.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched from Kennedy Space Center at 3:10 p.m. Friday.
The satellites that launched Sunday will be part of a so-called constellation operated by Iridium Communications Inc. This will mark the second time ever that a used booster is reused to launch a payload. Nowadays, Desch said the current launch industry is very different, and Iridium only works with SpaceX.
The launch used a orbital-class booster which was recycled and landed safely on a "droneship" in the Pacific Ocean.
The "flight proven" stage launching Friday, which test-fired nine Merlin main engines last Thursday, is being turned around for its second flight in half as much time. SpaceX has been dominating the private space industry and the proof is in the pudding.This was the twelfth launch made by SpaceX and the seventh that was made at sea, for testing reusable rockets. This leaves SpaceX in the wonderful position of having two drone ships and their accompanying freshly-recovered first stages sailing back to port at the same time, a truly thrilling accomplishment. The new fins are a bit heavier, but are designed for multiple re-uses as SpaceX seeks to more toward rapid reuse of its first stage booster. The final flight of five Iridium satellites will share its rocket ride with a pair of gravity-mapping Earth science satellites. The initial phases of the launch went as planned, with the second stage entering low Earth orbit for a coast phase prior to a second burn and then spacecraft separation. The satellites were for the communications company Iridium. The new satellites will not create visible flashes of reflected sunlight as they passed overhead.