SpaceX successfully launches its second rocket in three days

Cameron Gross
June 26, 2017

Against weather that would have normally caused a cancellation, SpaceX launched a second Falcon 9 just two days after it successfully launched and, more importantly, successfully landed one.

SpaceX successfully recovered the brand-new booster being used for today's liftoff as well: After stage separation, it flew itself down to an autonomous drone ship that's floating in the Pacific Ocean, off the California coast.

Roughly eight minutes after the launch, the rocket's first stage completed a vertical landing on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. The latest event comprised of 10 new satellites for Iridium that will uplift Iridium's NEXT constellation mission.

The rocket's first stage for the BulgariaSat-1 mission previously supported the Iridium-1 mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in January of this year.

"Successful deployment of 10 IridiumComm NEXT satellites to low-Earth orbit confirmed", SpaceX tweeted.

What a time to be alive - what a time for aerospace engineering: SpaceX, under the helm of Elon Musk, has successfully launched and landed the second Falcon 9 rocket in just roughly 48 hours.

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SpaceX's back-to-back launches feature the shortest span between two succeeding launches, shooting a refurbished Falcon 9 booster skyward on Friday, June 23, launching Bulgaria's first communication satellite into space. The Falcon's second stage is continuing to carry the satellites toward orbit.

The new constellation should be ready to replace Iridium's existing network next year, representing one of the biggest satellite tech upgrades in history.

The missions saw both rockets drop from space landing into the sea to ensure that the boosters would be available for reuse in the future. In total, 81 new satellites are being built, with nine serving as on-orbit spares and six as ground spares.

Swapping out and deorbiting some old satellites has already begun, Iridium CEO Matt Desch said in a pre-launch call with reporters.

The first re-entry was believed to have occurred on June 11, Desch said.

Other reports by BadHub

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