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article imageSpaceX pulls a double-header with two successful rocket launches

By Karen Graham     Jun 26, 2017 in Technology
Private space company, SpaceX pulled off a double-header over the weekend, launching a refurbished Falcon 9 late on Friday and another Falcon 9 on Sunday, both carrying satellites and both first stages landing safely.
The closeness of the two launches was not planned. The Friday evening launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida had been pushed back because of technical problems, but everything went off without a hitch.
The refurbished Falcon 9 lifted off from Shuttle Pad 39A at 3:10 p.m. local time (1910 GMT). The BulgariaSat-1 was dropped into orbit 30 minutes later. The reused Falcon 9 booster stage landed safely on a drone barge in the Atlantic. The communications satellite will be used to bring television reception to homes in Bulgaria and Serbia.
Falcon 9 and BulgariaSat-1 vertical on Pad 39A.
Falcon 9 and BulgariaSat-1 vertical on Pad 39A.
SpaceX
The Sunday launch, with a brand new Falcon 9, took place at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 1:25 p.m. local time. On board were 10 Iridium Communications satellites. About seven minutes after the launch, the first-stage booster landed safely on a drone barge in the Pacific Ocean.
The Falcon 9 launched on Sunday was equipped with an upgraded titanium hypersonic grid fin. Grid fins are used to manipulate the direction of the rocket's stage during re-entry. SpaceX says that while the fins are sort of small, "they measure just four feet by five feet, they can roll, pitch, and yaw the 14-story stage up to 20 degrees in order to target a precision landing."
Falcon 9 and 10 @IridiumComm NEXT satellites are vertical on SLC-4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in ...
Falcon 9 and 10 @IridiumComm NEXT satellites are vertical on SLC-4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
SpaceX
With two back-to-back successful recoveries of the first-stage boosters, CEO Elon Musk says he doesn't expect to recover every single stage that's launched because the flight profiles on some satellite launches would lead to re-entry speeds too fast to make use of the available propellant, reports CTV News.
SpaceX has always had the ultimate goal of getting more people into space, sort of expanding our knowledge and interest in space and space travel. They have succeeded in part making the space industry a part of our everyday lives, and now, with the successful back-to-back launches, they have shown they are up to the task of handling the rapid pace of space flights.
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