SpaceX goes for a launch doubleheader this weekend ars_ab.settitle(1123023)

In a mission that marked the company's second launch of a reused rocket's first stage, SpaceX successfully flagged off its Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Bulgarian communications satellite.

USA space firm SpaceX on Friday successfully launched Bulgaria's first geostationary communications satellite into space with its second partly reused rocket.

Sunday's liftoff is planned at 1:25 pm PST from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base, about 160 miles north of Los Angeles. The launch came after SpaceX had instigated another Falcon 9 rocket from Florida.

Before the launch, Elon Musk warned via Twitter: "Falcon 9 will experience its highest ever reentry force and heat in today's launch". On Friday, the company will attempt to launch BulgariaSat-1, a commercial communications satellite, to a geostationary orbit. The Falcon 9, which had sent 10 rockets up to space in January, was forced to use "almost all of the emergency crush core", a component used to soften its landing. Essentially, he wants the company to be able to reuse and repurpose different parts of the rocket instead of making a new one every time a new launch has to take place. As these new satellites go up, they will slowly replace the old-generation satellites - some of which have been in orbit since the 1990s.


The satellite constellation also aims to establish the infrastructure for Aireon's system created to provide aircraft surveillance and tracking service and Iridium Certus that works to offer L-band satellite broadband service. But SpaceX's video stream showed the rocket descending smoothly to a touchdown on the ship's rolling deck. SpaceX have a launch window opening at 2:10Pm and is open for two hours. That satellite will provide broadcast and communications service throughout eastern Europe.

However, the rocket safely touched down on the drone ship "Just Read the Instructions" in the Pacific Ocean.

The launch is the first to feature the use of new grid fins on the rocket's first stage, which steer the stage towards its landing site.

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