This afternoon marks the beginning of a real hold-your-butts weekend for SpaceX fans. Two launches are planned over the next 48 hours, and thanks to the magic of the internet, you can watch the launch (and hopeful landing!) right here.
Today’s mission is called BulgariaSat1, and it involves SpaceX launching a Bulgarian communications satellite into geostationary orbit from Kennedy Space Center. The payload will be flying on top of a used Falcon 9 rocket that SpaceX successfully re-landed. This will mark the second time ever that a used booster is reused to launch a payload.
Making things even better is the fact that SpaceX is going to try and land the re-landed rocket when it’s done launching the payload. As it’s done in the past, SpaceX will be using one of its drone ships due to the launch trajectory.
Speaking of launch trajectory, Elon Musk isn’t optimistic about his chances of sticking the landing this time. At least we should get a good fireball!
Falcon 9 will experience its highest ever reentry force and heat in today's launch. Good chance rocket booster doesn't make it back.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 23, 2017
The launch is scheduled to happen at 1510 EDT, and will be livestreamed on the video embedded above.
On Sunday, SpaceX completes the second part of the double-header when it launches a second rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This rocket will be carrying an Iridium communications satellite into orbit. It will also be livestreamed, but details are still to come on timing.