SpaceX Successfully Completes Back-To-Back Launches

The 30th Space Wing weather officials are forecasting no issues, with a 100 percent chance of launch as of Friday morning.

Ground checks have been completed for Friday's launch and the mission to send BulgariaSat-1 - a Bulgarian commercial satellite - appears set for lift off at Nasa's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

SpaceX has recovered rockets multiple times on the barge, known as a drone ship, and on land back at Cape Canaveral.

The satellites that launched Sunday will be part of a so-called constellation operated by Iridium Communications Inc. Check out the interactive map below for the best spots.

SpaceX smoothly pulled off its eighth launch of 2017, delivering to orbit Bulgaria's first communications satellite in what will be the most prolific launch month ever for the Hawthorne rocket maker. It's the 12th time SpaceX has successfully landed one of these rocket stages out of 17 attempts, and the seventh time it's performed the feat at sea.

All Iridium NEXT satellites will be launched on new Falcon 9 rockets - at least for now. The only exception was June 2016's launch of the Eutelsat 117 West B and ABS-2A satellites, where one of the three engines used for the landing burn did not generate sufficient thrust.

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.

At about 3:29 p.m. on Sunday, SpaceX posted on Twitter that its launch of a BulgariaSat-1 would be delayed.

This time around, the rocket was used to launch the first communications satellite for Bulgarian TV service provider Bulsatcom.

If successful, the BulgariaSat-1 would mark the first of what SpaceX is touting as a weekend doubleheader for launches.

Billionaire Elon Musk, who founded Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX, believes reusing rocket components will bring down the cost of space launches.

"We are once again proud to support another successful launch of Iridium NEXT", Hough said after Sunday's launch.

Vanessa Coleman

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