Launches

Blogs about launches of satellites, space probes, manned spacecraft.

The first stage used to launch the BulgariaSat 1 satellite after its hard landing (Image SpaceX)

SpaceX has set a new record for a private company by launching two rockets in just over 48 hours. On Friday, from Cape Canaveral the BulgariaSat 1 communications satellite was launched, while on Sunday, from the Vandenberg base in California 10 satellites of the Iridium NEXT constellation were launched. In both cases the first stage successfully landed.

The Cygnus cargo spacecraft blasting off atop an Atlas V rocket in its Orb-7 mission (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft blasted off atop an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral. After about 21 minutes it successfully separated from the rocket’s last stage went en route to its destination. This is its seventh official mission, called Orbital-7 or simply Orb-7 but also CRS OA-7, to transport supplies to the International Space Station for NASA.

The Falcon 9 rocket with a reused first stage blasting off (Photo SpaceX)

A few hours ago the SES-10 satellite was launched on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral. The innovation compared to regular launches of this type is that the rocket’s first stage was already used in a previous mission. It’s the first time that this happens in an actual mission.

The Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage did its job and after the second stage successfully separated it landed for the second time on the “Of course I still love you” dron ship. It will be brought back to the mainland and subjected to a new series of checks and tests to understand how it endured its second mission.