SpaceX leads off a rocket doubleheader with launch of BulgariaSat-1 satellite

Because the rocket had to push BulgariaSat-1 to such a high orbit, the first stage experienced more force and heat during reentry than any other Falcon 9, according to a tweet from Elon Musk. This will be the second used booster to ever launch, and, as an added bonus, SpaceX will be attempting to land the rocket upright on a drone ship at sea, something it's only accomplished half a dozen times.

The launch is scheduled to happen anytime between 3:10 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. ET. This rocket will be carrying an Iridium communications satellite into orbit.

SpaceX in March proved it can reuse large, orbital-class rockets, launching the SES-10 satellite with a first stage that had flown a year earlier. The Bulgariasat-1 satellite was built by Space Systems Loral (SSL), a leading provider of innovative satellites and space systems. The satellite is created to provide service for 15 years or longer.

Since the 1950s, rockets have launched into space from Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center. The satellite has been boosted into the proper orbit and is preparing to deploy. You will be happy to know that the launch is live at the SpaceX website.

The Falcon 9 was first used during a successful January mission.

About 2.5 minutes into the flight, the rocket's two stages separated, and the first stage began maneuvering its way back to Earth.

But the Iridium launch was moved up to take advantage of an opening in Vandenberg's range availability, while the BulgariaSat-1 mission was postponed to give SpaceX extra time to replace a suspect fairing valve on the Falcon 9.

"This is a key element to lower costs, by what he calls 'rapid reusability.' That's what's going to finance his dreams in the future of sending missions to Mars". This is the second time the private space company will reuse a booster. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk warned that there was a "good chance [the] rocket booster doesn't make it back", but soon after Musk's Twitter indicated that the rocket booster used "almost all of the emergency crush core", which helps soften the landing. The single engine powering the Falcon 9's second stage continued pushing BulgariaSat 1 to space. Safety and mission success were critical in the design of the Falcon 9 rocket.

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