Enlarge / SpaceX successfully test-fired its rocket for the BulgariaSat-1 mission last week. (credit: SpaceX)
3:30pm ET Update: Under nearly perfect skies in Florida, SpaceX successfully launched the BulgariaSat-1 on its way to geostationary transfer orbit Friday afternoon.
The “flight proven” booster made its second flight, and provides further indication that reusable rocketry isn’t going to be an aerospace fad.
It is, rather, likely the future.
The company also demonstrated its increasing proficiency with regard to booster landings.
Although Elon Musk didn’t provide technical details, he said the reentry force and heating faced by this booster would be greater than that of any previous flight.
Despite this technically challenging, three-engine landing, the rocket made it back to a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean.
It was singed, smoking and listing—and near the edge of the droneship.
But the rocket had made it home in one piece.
A webcast still of the Falcon 9 rocket first stage shortly after landing. (credit: SpaceX)
2:30pm ET Update: During preparations for today’s launch, SpaceX engineers decided to run additional ground system checks, although the company reported that the Falcon 9 rocket and its payload are in good health.
This reset the estimated liftoff time to an hour into the launch window, 3:10pm ET.
The webcast below should go live about 15 minutes before that time.
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