Trust SpaceX to amaze you. Elon Musk’s (who’s also launching music streaming services lately) private aerospace firm has been successful in launching and landing two rockets in a matter of just three days.
The first launch was done on Friday when the Falcon 9 Full Thrust sent Bulgaria’s first geostationary communications satellite into orbit from Florida’s Kennedy Space Canter. The Falcon 9 touched down on SpaceX’s drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. The geostationary communications satellite, known as the BulgariaSat-1, is expected to go into operation by early August and provide communications services to Bulgaria, Serbia, and the Balkans for 15 years.
The second Falcon 9 was launched on Sunday with 10 Iridium-2 satellites. The launch was conducted from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and following stage separation, the first stage of Falcon 9 landed on a drone ship “Just Read the Instructions” in the Pacific.
As part of Iridium Communications’ next-generation global satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT, the launch of these 10 satellites follows a previous launch in January of this year when 10 satellites where launched. A further 55 satellites are to be launched later.
SpaceX’s next launch is a comfortable few weeks away. Nevertheless, doing 2 launches (and landings) within the span of a weekend is simply Musk’s dream come true, a little too prematurely perhaps.