A backup launch window opens at 1:19 p.m. PDT (4:19 EDT/20:19 UTC) on Monday, June 26.
The BulgariaSat-1 satellite took off on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 3:10 p.m. EDT (1910 GMT), a live webcast showed. Its first stage was recovered after landing on a drone ship in the Atlantic.
Elon Musk’s space exploration company is preparing to launch a Falcon 9 rocket, from a Californian airbase, on a mission to send 10 satellites into to low-Earth orbit today.
If you can’t watch those two streams of SpaceX’s triumph’s not to worry. Musk’s space mission company is also focussing on its initial test flight of a manned capsule.
The satellites launched over the weekend belong to the communications company Iridium.
The Falcon 9 carrying Iridium satellites was the company’s 13th successful landing, and ninth launch this year.
Though Iridium’s contract with SpaceX now specifies that new first-stages will be used to launch the satellites, company Chief Executive Matt Desch said earlier this week he would be “open” to using a previously flown booster in the future.
SpaceX completed a “doubleheader” of launches June 25 with the launch of a second set of next-generation Iridium satellites from California, two days after another Falcon 9 from the East Coast. Its mission was to put 10 satellites from Iridium into orbit. The first stage booster landed itself upright on a drone ship called “Just Read the Instructions” during high winds only eight minutes after launch. It has already launched more rockets in 2017 than any other year.
SpaceX previously used a recycled rocket during a March mission. Launching two rockets for a similar mission just twice in two days is a rare occurrence especially in the USA rocket history. SpaceX is also planning to launch a rocket in California on Sunday, a rare 48-hour rocket double-header that will help establish the firm’s capacity to rapidly deliver cargo into space.
Sunday’s rocket was a brand new one, while on Friday a refurbished booster was used.