SpaceX is blazing a trail forward for sustainable and reusable commercial spaceflight at an impressive pace. They’ve launched several missions this year, once on a reused booster even, and also employed a used Dragon spacecraft on their most recent cargo mission to the ISS for NASA earlier this month (CRS-11).
But the company is now landing their rockets too, like clockwork almost, and they are aiming to do it again next Monday afternoon, June 19, after they use another reused booster to launch the BulgariaSat-1 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The company is also preparing to fly their highly anticipated Falcon Heavy for the first time later this year, a mammoth triple-barrelled version of their Falcon 9, and company owner Elon Musk released a new video via his Instagram page today (June 16) showing off the company’s “Falcon Factory” at their headquarters in Hawthorne, CA.
First used to launch the initial wave of ‘Iridium NEXT’ satellites last January from Vandenberg AFB, CA, the rocket launching next Monday will also become the first booster to launch missions on both coasts.
Landing on the company’s offshore drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” should occur shortly after, but previous attempts have been met with mixed success. With the exception of three drone ship landing failures in January, March and June 2016, six returning rockets have landed successfully on the drone ship; the most recent instance being March 30th for the SES-10 mission.
Drone ships are used when the mission being launched requires so much fuel there isn’t enough left for a landing attempt back near the launch site.
Liftoff of BulgariaSat-1 is scheduled for Monday, June 19 at 2:01pm EDT, you can watch it live HERE.
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